NHRC directs Odisha CS to look into health, chronic malnutrition issues in rural areas, take action

·3 min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday directed the Odisha Chief Secretary to look into the matter personally and act on health, chronic malnutrition and other allied issues of the rural areas of the state and take appropriate action in the matter and submit a report before the Commission.

The direction of the NHRC came while disposing of a five-year-old petition filed by noted human rights activist and the Supreme Court lawyer, Radhakanta Tripathy.

What is more disheartening is that the lackadaisical attitude of the government authorities to act over the human rights issues and submit reports, Tripathy said.

In his initial petition, Tripathy pointed out that due to lack of medical care and State apathy more than 500 tribal villagers of Bolangir are dying of illness and chronic malnutrition. They are deprived and denied of the basic amenities which violates their basic human rights.

Citing examples of such problems, Tripathy stated that the three-month-old son of Jagannath Deheria, a resident of Gabharasa village in Bolangir, was suffering from a condition wherein his limbs are getting thinner while his head and belly are increasing in size.

Tripathy also stated that the doctors could not diagnose what the victim's son was suffering from and the said the village lacks basic facilities. There are other people, mostly children who are suffering from chronic ailments and have no medical facilities.

The NHRC issued notice to the collector cum District Magistrate to submit a report in this regard. However, the collector failed to submit the report in time, he said.

Looking into the gravity of the issue, the NHRC directed the Chief Secretary of Odisha to submit a report on the three important issues related to rural areas of the State of Odisha.

The three important issues are -- Whether or not, every village has access to clean, safe, hygienic water and if not name and number of such villages/hamlet. Secondly, the measures taken by the State Government to provide, every village/hamlet access to clean, safe, hygienic water. Lastly, whether or not, every village/hamlet has access to the Primary Health Care Centre, and if not name and number of such villages/hamlet.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the report has not been submitted to the NHRC, so far, Tripathy claimed.

Tripathy requested the NHRC to send a team of officials or special rapporteur to investigate the matter and direct the Chief Secretary, Odisha and the district administration of Bolangir to act immediately over the issue and provide compensation at least Rs 5 lakh to the family member of the deceased and to ensure nutrition, safe drinking water, basic amenities like all weather road, primary health care centre, etc and electricity connection to the households of the village.

Tripathy also urged the NHRC to recommend further steps to be taken in the interest of justice and protection of human rights by sending a health team with medicines on an urgent basis looking at the immediate necessity of the villagers. (ANI)

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