UP: Mother & Her Two Kids Die Of Alleged Malnutrition As India Marks 'National Nutrition Month'
Within a week’s time, a 30-year-old woman and two of her children allegedly died due to hunger and malnutrition in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar area. Reportedly, the incident has been written off by the UP government as an incident of diarrhoea and food poisoning which caused the death. The villagers, however, suspect the cause of death to be malnutrition.
According to The Wire, Sangeeta (the mother) and her six-year-old son Shyam passed away on September 6 while her youngest child – two-month-old daughter Gita died on September 11. Virender, Sangeeta’s husband is a daily wage labourer who sold his pull-cart a few months ago for lack of work. Ever since then, the family has been suffering in abject poverty, trying to barely make ends meet.
NDTV reported Virender as saying that his wife and son started vomiting and showed signs of diarrhoea. Since their health conditions deteriorated, Virendra managed to take them to a nearby hospital in an ambulance. While the doctors admitted them, they were soon referred to a larger district hospital in Padrauna. Reportedly, the mother-son duo died on the way to the hospital in the ambulance.
Days later, the family’s youngest daughter, Gita, who was being fed milk formula by women in the village also died. She was also taken to the district hospital, but could not be saved. However, the district administration while accepting the fact that the family was economically backward, insisted that the deaths were not due to hunger.
District Administration said that the deaths are not due to hunger
Hari Narayan Singh, Chief Medical Officer of the district told NDTV, “You can’t deny they were poor. But there are other poor people in this village. They died because they were not following a proper diet.” Reportedly, the family did have a ration card, but there were no food grains in the house. Virender is even an MGNREGA card holder, but he hasn’t received any work during the last year, forcing him to take up all sorts of odd jobs.
The Logical Indian take
Malnutrition rates in Uttar Pradesh are among the highest in the world, and this is not an isolated incident as there have been multiple reports of hunger-related deaths in the state in the past. Not only in Uttar Pradesh but hunger-related deaths arising out of malnutrition have come up in multiple news reports, which point towards the dismal condition of the country’s Public Distribution System. Incidentally, the alleged malnutrition deaths have come at a time when the country is celebrating “National Nutrition Month.”