An 11-year-old girl studying at a government-run ashram school in tribal-dominated Vikramgadh taluka of the neighbouring Palghar district died following an illness, police said on Friday.
The VI standard student, Kausalya Kasa Barsat, a resident of Shevale Awalicha Pada at Sakhare of Suksale grampanchyat in Palghar, was suffering from high fever following which she was rushed to Vikramgadh rural hospital.
After treatment, she returned to her residential school where she died last night, an officer at Vikramgadh police station said. The school authorities have informed the girl’s parents about her death, he said.
Besides, another 14-year-old girl of the same school studying in class IX complained of vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain last night following which she was also rushed to Vikramgadh rural hospital.
As her condition worsened, she was shifted to a hospital i Jawhar where her condition was stated to be serious, police said.
Reacting to the death of the girl and illness of another student, former MLA and Shramajeevi Sanghatana president Vivek Pandit criticised the state Tribal Development Department for failing to take care of students of the ashram schools and health of the tribals.
He lamented that such incidents were taking place in the constituency of Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savra. Notably, thousands of tribals had recently gheraoed Savra’s house at Wada in the district in support of their demands, including effective steps to deal with rampant malnutrition and death of children.
The tribals had demanded effective implementation of Forest Rights Act, improvement in the condition of ashram schools (government-run institutes for tribal children), work for the tribals under the Employment Guarantee Scheme and timely payment of salaries of anganwadi workers, among others.
They have also sought effective steps to deal with rampant malnutrition and death of children in the tribal-dominated areas of the state.