Maharashtra horror: 740 tribal students died in last 10 years

The NHRC has issued a notice to the state over the deaths of children in tribal areas

GN Bureau | October 18, 2016


#NHRC   #tribal death   #children death   #malnutrition   #Maharashtra   #national human rights commission  
National Human Rights Commission
Photo: Arun Kumar

 As many as 740 students of residential schools in tribal areas have died in Maharashtra in the past 10 years, revealed an internal report of the state tribal development department.

What’s more shocking is the manner in which the children have died. Media reports suggest that some of these students have died of snake bites, scorpion bites and minor illness. Other reasons for the tragedy include dengue, malaria, food poisoning, suicide and drowning.
 
Shocked and pained by the tribal development department’s report, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Maharashtra government over the deaths of the children. The commission’s chief secretary has even asked for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks, as per a press release on Tuesday.
 
There are 552 residential schools for tribal students in the state run by the tribal development department, as per media reports. The issue of the deaths of students in residential schools came to light when a 12-year-old girl from a residential school in Palghar district died on October 7, 2016.
 
The students coming from the tribal communities generally belong to the poor families. The school authorities are responsible for their welfare, safety and health care needs. The NHRC has observed that negligence on the part of the department of tribal development and the school authorities is a violation of right to life, dignity and equality of the students.
 
Recognising violation of human rights of children in another incident, the commission has also issued a notice to the Madhya Pradesh government over the deaths of children due to malnutrition-related ailments. Around 116 children have died in the Sheopur district alone during the last five months. The chief medical officer has reportedly accepted these facts. Three nutrition rehabilitation centres in the district are overcrowded and lack in facilities as well as doctors.
 

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