Maharashtra tribal dept reply on malnutrition deaths leaves minister red-faced
Maharashtra’s Tribal Welfare department’s reply to a question on children’s death due to malnutrition, stating that the state had not witnessed any death due to malnutrition in the last five years, left Minister Vijaykumar Gavit red-faced on Wednesday. Opposition MLAs in the state assembly questioned the information provided by the department, leading to speaker Rahul Narvekar holding the question back.
During the question hour, Congress MLA Kunal Patil raised a question on Navsanjivani scheme meant for the betterment of the health of mothers and children in tribal areas and its implementation in 16 districts with tribal population. To a question as to whether 8,842 children have died due to malnutrition in last five years in 16 tribal districts, the reply noted the reasons of the death as prematurity and low birth weight, sepsis, respiratory distress, congenital anomaly, birth asphyxia, and pneumonia.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Dilip Walse-Patil pointed out that the reply did not say anything about the number of deaths due to malnutrition. “Are we saying that Maharashtra has not witnessed a single death due to malnutrition in last five years?” he asked the minister.