Bombay HC pulls up state government over malnutrition

Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) In a poll-eve embarrassment, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Maharashtra government, observing that it has not taken any “serious steps” to tackle the problem of malnutrition among children in the state.

Hearing a bunch of PILs on the issue of malnutrition-related deaths and other health issues of children in Vidarbha’s Melghat and other tribal areas, a division bench comprising Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice P.R. Bora said the government must make separate budgetary allocation in the next state budget for the purpose.

The judges said the progress and prosperity of the state is pointless if 50 per cent of the children remain malnourished and below the poverty line, and it has not taken any serious steps to solve the problem.

Justice Kanade observed that the children’s population in the state must be over four crore, of which nearly 50 per cent are below poverty line and suffering from malnutrition.

The judges have now posted the matter for further hearing on March 1 when top officials of the Tribal Welfare and Women & Child Welfare departments would have to make a power-point presentation before the court on the measures to be taken to tackle the problem.