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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: In the wake of the death of 18 children due to malnourishment in Nagada village of Jajpur district in the last three months, the Odisha government has decided to set up two mini Anganwadi centres in the village.

A decision to this effect was taken at a review meeting presided over by Woman and Child Development Minister Usha Devi at the State Secretariat here today.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, the minister said since there is no road connectivity to the village, which is situated on a hilltop, it would be easier for the district administration to provide the villagers with all basic requirements relating to health and drinking water supply if they come down to the foothill and settle there.

“It all depends on the villagers. If they are not willing to come down the hill, we will make alternative arrangements for them,” she said.

The minister said her department has made provision to provide take-home ration cards and chhatua to each family of the village through Anganwadi workers.

Talking about the malnourishment of the children, the minister said there is no family planning in the village. Some families in the village have 8-9 children. “As per the survey conducted by the my department, 24 families in this village have 122 children. Such disturbing phenomenon is due to lack of awareness among the Juang tribals. We will take necessary steps in this regard to bring these tribals to the mainstream of the society,” she assured.

Meanwhile, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central Division), AB Ota held a review meeting on the situation in Nagada village in Cuttack today.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, Ota said the administration had identified 18 malnourished children in the village of which special care had been taken in respect of 14 children and their mothers at a temporary camp set up in the village.

He said for the development of Nagada village, the government has prepared both short and long-term plans in which emphasis has been given on communication, drinking water, health and mini Anganwadi centres. “To ensure these facilities in the village, the state government has appointed secretaries and directors of the Health and Family Welfare, ST and ST Development, Works and Rural Development departments as nodal officers,” he added.

The RDC also informed that the state government has directed local officials to identify villages having a situation similar to Nagada village and take corrective measures at the earliest.

Jajpur Collector Satya Kumar Mallick, who was present in the meeting, told the media that the district administration has provided food to 43 families yesterday while another 43 families of the village would be provided food today.

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