Madhya Pradesh told to submit report on childcare centres

September 27th, 2008 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Sep 27 (IANS) The Madhya Pradesh High Court has sought a report from the state chief secretary on the management of anganwadi (mother and child welfare) centres following a public interest petition on alleged malnutrition deaths of children, a petitioner said Saturday.The court sought the report on the centres in every district of the state under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (lCDS). The report by the chief secretary has to be submitted by Oct 14.

Hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh Right to Food Campaign (MPRTFC) on recent deaths of children due to malnutrition in Khandwa, Satna, Sheopur and Shivpuri districts, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Anang Kumar Patnaik and Justice Ajit Singh Friday also directed the collectors of the affected districts to submit reports by Oct 13.

According to MPRTFC, which got the copies of the order Saturday, the bench also expressed unhappiness over the failure of the state government in filing reports on deaths of 159 children between May and Aug 10, 2008 in four districts by Sep 25, as earlier directed by the court.

“Even though the report was not filed, deaths of children due to malnutrition couldn’t be ruled out as the state in its reply has admitted to providing treatment to children suffering from malnutrition in the four districts,” the bench observed, adding “more child deaths could not be risked until the report’s submission”.

Vijay Shukla, the government counsel, said that the final reports from all the four districts were awaited as the officials of department concerned were touring the districts.

“A report was also awaited from the Supreme Court commissioners who are monitoring malnutrition in the state,” Shukla said.

But the counsel for the petitioner, Raghvendra Kumar, replied that the Supreme Court commissioners have also sought report from the state government which it has failed to submit.

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