Cassian Baliarsingh

Years after Nagada hogged the headlines in 2016 following the death of over 20 children due to malnutrition, Odisha’s Jajpur still paints a picture of neglect as fresh cases of malnutrition have been reported from the district.

Even as the government makes tall claims of launching a series of welfare programs, a little boy died due to malnutrition while his sister has been left battling for her life in the remote village of Ghatisahi under Ranagundi panchayat of Danagadi block in Jajpur district.

“She is unable to walk or sit by herself. She is ridden to bed and her condition is deteriorating now,” said the child’s mother.

According to sources, Banku Hembram resides in the village along with his wife Tulasi Hembram and his nine children. 

Unfortunately, one of his two sons died due to malnutrition a few days back. Now, one of his daughters has been left bed-ridden due to the deadly condition.

This apart, Banku’s other children are also slowly being affected by malnutrition.  The helpless family has been running from pillar to post for help, but to no avail. A daily wager Banku has ration card, but is deprived of ration. The family survives by eating water rice and salt, reports said.

Soon after OTV highlighted the plight of the girl, the DCPO along with his team visited the village and rescued all his siblings. They have been kept under observation in Sukinda. 

When contacted, Jajpur Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Sibasish Maharana said, “We have Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) here, a councilor, therapist, pediatric specialist who are attending the child now. Another child was admitted earlier to the DHH. But, the problem is people of unaware of malnutrition and do not want to come to hospital. So, we are trying to spread an awareness programme soon.”