Odisha

Minister Admits Stark Reality Of Nagada Malnutrition Deaths

**Bhubaneswar**: Putting forth her reactions before media on the unfortunate malnutrition deaths in tribal-dominated Nagada village of Jajpur district in which over 15 deaths of malnourished children have been reported, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Usha Devi on Wednesday admitted the stark reality.

The WCD Minister revealed, “It has been found pregnant women there are having only rice and salt and lack immunity. No family planning there, each family having 8-9 children. It was also found that 24 families there are blessed with 122 children, per year a new born”.

Terming it unfortunate the WCD Minister defended that malnutrition does not concerns her department only, but also the Health Department.

“Malnutrition situation in the state has improved a lot,” she claimed adding there is no specific data on malnutrition till date from across the state.

“Being remote pockets, such cases are obvious. The families have no food security ration cards, no job cards of NREGS and above all no immunity,” she stated.

She also stated that the State Government has already initiated action and WCD will definitely sensitise the people there and bring them back to the mainstream.

ST & SC Development Minister Lal Bihari Himirika said, “It is to be looked into if they can be included in the micro projects or not as there are already 70 micro projects at present in the state for the overall development of the tribals”.

On the other hand, Excise & Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout in his reactions on the issue said, “Malnutrition prevails everywhere. Why the malnourished children died this year need to be diagnosed. The real cause of death needs to be found out”.

BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “Media bringing to light such cases have certainly warned the State Government to reach forth the inaccessible pockets deprived of social welfare schemes and the government has already initiated measures”.

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