Bombay High Court on Monday pulled up the state government over malnutrition deaths of children in the tribal areas of Maharashtra and asked it to focus on stopping them. The Bombay High Court said, “We don’t want any more children dying due to malnutrition”.
The court further said that from now onwards, it will monitor the steps taken by the government to curb malnutrition deaths twice a month.
A Division Bench of Cheif Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a bunch of public interests’ litigation (PILs) regarding children’s death due to malnutrition in the tribal areas including Palghar’s tribal areas like Mokhada, Wada, Vikramgad.
The PIL’s filed include the petition of activist Bandu Sampatrao Sane. The petitioners stated that nothing concrete was being done by the state government to stop malnutrition deaths in the tribal areas.
In 2019, to curb malnutrition deaths, the Maharashtra government had come up with a scheme to bring more children suffering from malnutrition, pregnant and lactating mothers to hospitals. The scheme was to rope in ‘Tantriks’ to support the state’s fight against malnutrition.
Maharashtra government said, “Tribal people still go to ‘tantriks’ instead of hospitals and that is why it was necessary to include them into this scheme and the government came up with a scheme to pay tantriks for sending those who go to them to the nearby hospital. In 2019, time the government said that the tantriks will be paid Rs 100 for sending one person to a hospital”.
Bombay High Court warned the state government that the court doesn’t want any more malnutrition deaths. It said that the government can’t leave people to go to ‘tantriks’ and it has to work on bringing them to the hospitals.