Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kerala's Attapady tribal belt is witnessing frequent infant deaths

Recently a five day old kid (weighting just 2.3kgs!!!) of a Kurumba couple, form Pudur area of Attapady, died in Kozhikode (Calicut) Medical College. This couple lost their first offspring in the same way. According to reports, with in last 17 months 52 tribal kids died due to malnutrition and anaemia. In Attapady there were 3 cases of abortion in June and seven cases in May. 

Deaths are neither due to some diseases which modern medicine is not able to recognise or comprehend nor due to some mysterious illness. Causes are simple and straightforward - chronic malnutrition and anaemia; two conditions for which government, healthcare and tribal department knows what the solution is. But growing death count indicates that authorities often looked the other way.

I can't believe that tribes were not getting enough food to eat because of unavailability of funds. Schemes designed for the empowerment of tribes and development of Attapady region may already exceeded the number water droplets in Arabian Sea.

Then why they are dying? What is happening to the numerous schemes designed for them? Why food is not reaching their hands? Why they have to travel all the way to Calicut/ Thrissur medical college in case of any emergency? Why there are no specialist doctors in nearby hospitals?

Questions are numerous but who will ask the same to Kerala Government? Who will make sure that the food grain, cereals, milk, tablets etc are available in the region (affordable to locals)? Will the politicians running the state from other end will take time to ask some of these questions to themselves? Can't they take some time out of Solar Scam arguments and counter arguments to study the ground realities in Attapady?

Let me remember you that, this is rainy season in Kerala. Just imagine, what can be the situation of tribes living near to the top of Western Ghats. Wake up... Do something



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