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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 01 January, 2020

  • 4 Min Read

Odisha tribals still suffering from hunger, malnutrition

Syllabus subtopic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the findings of RTF regarding malnutrition among tribes in Odisha; about juanga and Paudi Bhuyan tribe

News: Right to Food Campaign (RTF), a platform of social activists, said poor implementation of government welfare programmes was marginalising tribals further in backward pockets of Odisha.

Background

In the wake of malnutrition deaths of 20 infants of the Juanga tribe at Nagada village in Jajpur district in 2016, the RTF campaigners started visiting villages inhabited by particularly vulnerable tribal groups(PVTGs) in different parts of the State.

What did it reveal?

  • As per the findings shared by RTF members, Paudi Bhuyan tribes in four villages – Kiri, Keta, Kundula and Kunu – under Bonai subdivision of Sundargarh districts were suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

  • Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) programme, one of the most important food security programmes, was found non-existent in Paudi Bhuyan tribal villages. Anganwadi centres were non-functional. No ICDS authority has visited these villages in two decades. Children were never immunised. They were also not getting cooked food.

  • Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 21 tribals of these villages had worked in a road construction work in 2014, but they had not got their payments.

  • Paudi Bhuyan, one of the most vulnerable and neglected tribes who reside on hilltops, should be mainstreamed and linked with government welfare programmes immediately.

  • In Nagada village, which put Odisha to shame following reports of malnutrition deaths of children, situation remained unchanged despite the State government promising to have given utmost attention for its development.

About PVTGs

  • PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
  • They have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.
  • They generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.

Identification:

  • In 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups, while in 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes, spread over 18 states and one Union Territory (A&N Islands) in the country (2011 census).
  • Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12).

The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are as under:

  • A pre-agriculture level of technology.
  • A stagnant or declining population.
  • Extremely low literacy.
  • A subsistence level of economy.

Source: The Hindu


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