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Odishatv Bureau

Sukinda (Jajpur): After the death of about 18 children due to malnutrition came to the fore at Nagada village near here in Jajpur district, a team comprising members of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), director of Woman and Children Development (WCD) department and the sub-collector visited the hamlet on Saturday for a on the spot inquiry.

They admitted lack of health care and communication facilities in the area and directed the Anganwadi workers and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) supervisor to camp in the village to take stock of the situation.

“There is no school and communication facility for them. Only one school, which is being run by an NGO, is imparting education to children aged between 6 to 14. Around 53 families are living in the Nagada village. Many of the residents have no ID cards. A team of Anganwadi workers and an RMRC team have reached the spot and have collected blood samples," Santosi Sahoo, member of SPCPR, said.

Sub-collector Maheswar Panigrahi also admitted the precarious condition of the local residents. "The situation in the village is really grim. It has no proper communication. They have no access to health care. The benefits under various social welfare schemes have failed to reach them. It is a matter of concern for all that some children have died of malnutrition,” he said.

"We will take measures for the welfare of the local people at the earliest with a holistic approach, " he added.

The Women and Child Development Department has also decided to open an Anganwadi centre in the village.

Notably, as many as 18 kids allegedly died of malnutrition in the last three months in the mining dominated area.

Nagada is situated on a hilltop in a dense forest under mineral-rich Sukinda block. Located about 30 km from Sukinda Chromite valley and more than 50 km from Kalinga Nagar Industrial complex, there is virtually no road to the village.

Even for basic necessities, the villagers have to trek more than 15 km through a dense forest to reach a motorable road, sources said.

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