BHUBANESWAR: UNDER fire from the Opposition parties for the death of 19 children due to malnourishment in Nagada village of Jajpur district, the State Government on Wednesday decided to set up two mini anganwadi centres (AWC) in the village.The decision was taken by Woman and Child Development Minister Usha Devi, who reviewed the situation of Nagada village at a meeting here. Since there is no road connectivity to the village, which is situated on hilltop, it would be easier for the district administration to provide basic services to the villagers if they come down to the foothill and settle there.
“We will try to persuade them villagers. However, their relocation would be possible if they agree to the proposal. 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 provisions like take-home ration will bemade for the villagers and ‘chhatua’ will be distributed to each of the family through anganwadi workers. Attributing the undernourishment to lack of family planning, the Minister said that some families in the village have 8-9 children.
A survey conducted by the department said that 24 families in this village have 122 children. Describing this a very disturbing trend, the Minister said her department will take necessary steps to create awareness among the Juang tribals. Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central Division) AB Ota also reviewed the situation in Nagada village in Cuttack. “The State Government has prepared both short-term and long-term plans for the development of the tribal village. Emphasis will be on communication, drinking water, health service and supplementary nutrition,” Ota said.
The meeting was also attended by Jajpur District Collector Satya Mallick.