Bhubaneswar,04/10/19:The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Odisha government to submit a detailed Action Taken Report (ATR) on curbing malnutrition among the children of Nagada village in Jajpur district.
The Commission, in a letter, has asked the Odisha Chief Secretary to submit the report within four weeks, failing which it will be constrained to invoke coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 for personal appearance of the concerned authority.
The NHRC’s directive came in response to a petition filed by Rights activist Akhand in August this year.
The petitioner had contended that after the death of 19 children (between age group of three to four years) in Nagada in July 2016, the state government had undertaken a number of measures to bring down malnutrition deaths and the development of the village. But, no changes could be seen in the scenario of the village even after four years as the children are still malnourished and the tribals are impoverished.
Haphazard development work without community mobilisation and understanding their problem can never yield good result. Though the state government in the last three years has sanctioned Rs 88 lakh under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scheme to provide employment to the people, only Rs 4 lakh has been spent till date. “Had this amount been spent by providing work to the poor tribals, it might have strengthened their food security and ensured their livelihood,” the petitioner stated.
The rights activit has urged the Commission to direct the Chief Secretary to review all the projects undertaken in Nagada in terms of its avowed objective and its achievement, failure and success and submit the ATR.
He also asked the Commission to direct the state government to supply PDS rice, Arhar dal, oil, potato, onion and eggs to each family at a highly subsidised price, continue NREGA scheme in the village throughout the year, step up awareness campaign to mobilise the tribals to stop drinking liquor. It will be a great help to them and monitor all the welfare projects by a special team from Bhubaneswar, who will monitor all the projects every 15 days and submit the report to the concerned authorities for action.