NCPCR seeks report from Odisha on Nagada

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Bhubaneswar: Even as a five-member team of Union Health Ministry is visiting Nagada village in Jajpur district, made infamous in the recent past for the death of 18 children due to malnutrition in the last three months, tomorrow, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the State government to submit a report on the situation in the village, predominantly inhabited by people of the primitive Juang tribe, in 10 days.

Commission member Priyanka Kanungo has written a letter to the Odisha Chief Secretary asking him to explain the reason behind the child deaths and list the steps taken by the government to mitigate the situation.

Following this, the Women and Child Welfare department has sought a report from the Jajpur district Collector.

Meanwhile, Prasad Harichandan, PCC chief, came down heavily on the state government, saying; “Nagada village is the naked picture of BJD government’s version of development. A total 1.40 crore people in the state are suffering from malnutrition. It seems this government itself is ailing.”

Refuting the charges, Sashi Bhusan Behera, BJD spokesperson, said, “The government has taken several steps to eradicate malnutrition in the State. Those who want to defame the State government by citing Nagada as an example will never succeed in their goal.”

Interestingly, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) does not have any information on the Nagada issue till date. The CMO had asked the Women and Child Welfare Department to submit a report on the matter within three days on July 20 after the Nagada issue was highlighted in the media.

However, the CMO is yet to get any communication on the issue from the department, said sources.

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