20 primitive tribals die
in Jharkhand in one month
Oct 31 (IANS) Despite a plethora of welfare schemes, 20 members
of three primitive tribes of Jharkhand have died in the last
one month, with the government attributing this to food poisoning
while social workers say the deaths occurred due to malnourishment.
Chatra district alone, 17 members of two primitives tribes
have died in two villages, officials say.
Hindiyakala village, around 210 km from state capital Ranchi,
eight members of the Birhor tribe died early this month, while
nine members of the Baiga tribe died.
members of the Birhor tribe died in Koderma district in the
last one week while one death has been reported from Dumka
Hindiyakala, the Birhor tribals died due to hunger. They were
not getting foodgrain from the public distribution system
for a long time," said Balram, an advisor to a panel
appointed by the Supreme Court to supervise the food security
schemes in the state.
also negatived the claim of government officials that the
tribals died due to food poisoning.
Jharkhand government last week constituted a three-member
committee headed by Welfare Secretary U.K. Sangama to assess
the situation in the three districts and probe the cause of
will submit our report to the chief secretary on Friday,"
Sangama told IANS.
has 30 tribes, of which nine have been declared as primitive
population is just 0.80 percent of the states' 26.90 million
population. The state government runs 10 schemes for them,
among others, to provide jobs to youth who complete their
schooling, food and housing but despite this, the population
of the primitive tribes is declining and hunger deaths are
reported, officials privately admit.
plan the programmes and ensure funds, but the schemes have
to be implemented by the district administration," a
defensive Sangama said.
will ensure free foodgrain for the primitive tribes. All necessary
steps will be taken to prevent malnutrition among them,"
was all that Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren said when
asked about the deaths.