Memorandum on Adivasi children’s death in Malkangiri (submitted to Governor, Odisha)


Dr. S.C. Jamir                                                                                                  Date- 19.11.16

Hon’ble Governor, Odisha

Raj Bhawan


Sub- Memorandum on “Child Death in Malkangiri”

Respected Sir

In the backdrop of death of more than one hundred children in Malakangiri district due to outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (?),  a state-level  consultation  of Civil Society Groups  was organised  at Red Cross Bhawan, Bhubaneswar on 17.11.16 to  debate and discourse  about  issues relating to incidence of child death  and explore the opportunity of  intervention of Civil Society  to find out  permanent solution to it in terms of checking  child death in the district.

The meeting started  with welcome address  by  Sri Manoj Jena, Human Rights Activist and Core-Committee Member of NGO Cell of NHRC   followed by   presentation of two  Fact-finding Reports presented  by Sri Pradip Pradhan, State  Convener, Right to Food Campaign, Odisha  and Member of Advisory Group of NHRC, and Sri Gouranga Mohapatra, Convener, Jana Swasthya Abhijan, Odisha Chapter  who  depicted  child death  due to malnutrition  and hunger  among  the tribal children.  after presentation,  the house engulfed  in debating  the incidence of child  death from various perspectives  and  citing  various reasons  such  age-old negligence and callousness of the administration,  huge corruption and irregularities in implementation of Govt. programme, absence of effective grievance redressal mechanism and monitoring mechanism at district level, deliberate attempt  to suppress information about magnitude of child malnutrition, inaccesability to  food security programme and denial of entitlement,  bad-implementation of food security programme,  huge food insecurity among the tribals, disastrous health situation, mal-administration, vacancy in the  posts in different offices including District Hospital, PHC and CHC etc.

The prominent members who   participated in the consultation  were  Sri Panchanan Kanungo, former Minister, Govt. of Odisha, Sri Rabi Das, Senior Journalist, Sri Pratap Sahu, Dalit Rights Activists Sri Ashok Mallik, Kalandi Mallik, Prof. Jantrana Parikhit, Madhumita Rath, Suresh Panigrahi, CPI(M), Social Activists like  Ashok Das, Mrs. Usharani Behera, Ranjit Swain, Meghna Kinnar, Sri Sudhir Sabat and Sri Ranjit Patnaik from CACL, Sri Akhand, Human Rights Activist, Chandranath Dani, Prakash Nayak, Health expert  and many others.

After deliberation, the house felt that it is state-sponsored murder of  children in the district  and  unanimously passed the  resolution expressing deep concern over child death   and condemned negligence, lackadaisical attitude and failure of the State Govt.  to check child death in the district. The house also agreed that the reason of the child death as cited by Govt.  does not attribute only health hazard rather  food insecurity and malnutrition among the children for years together.  The house also resolved   to appraise His Excellency to exercise his power as custodian of the tribals of Malkangiri coming under fifth schedule of the Constitution and take the following steps including direction to the State Govt. to check the innocent lives from grave disaster.

  1. Constitute Commission of Enquiry to find out the reason of child death in face of diversed  views  on it  and fix responsibility  for such holocaust.
  2. Appoint High-level expert Team  to review  the relevance  of  numerous  development programme, manner of implementation of food security programme, whether  the programme itself is defective or it is badly implemented  with time-bound manner. The recommendation of the team should be properly implemented.
  3. Multi-stakeholder Grievance Redressal mechanism to be developed to hear the grievance of the people and address it within time limits and fixing responsibility on the erring officials.
  4. As reported, thousands of the tribal children are still suffering from malnutrition in the district who are in red zone. Massive drive needs to be undertaken to identify these children and special nutrition programme to be launched to improve their health condition.
  5. Transparency and accountability to be enforced in the implementation of development project and all food security programme.
  6. The huge vacancy  in   different category of Govt. posts should be filled up on war-footing way  to revamp administrative mechanism  to render service effectively and making it reach out at door step of the people.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely

Pradip Pradhan

Manoj Jena

Madhumita Rath

Dr. Rina Roy

Sanjay Sahu

Bijalalaxmi Routray

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