A pilot project will be launched in select gram panchayats next week and expanded to cover the entire Bastar division in a month.Jun 19, 2019, 11.34 PM ISTBCCLPilot project next week, whole division to be covered in a month.NEW DELHI: The Chhattisgarh government will in a month provide free food and medical care to forest dwelling tribals in Maoist-infested Bastar division through two new schemes. Free food to curb malnutrition will be distributed through gram panchayats. The state government will also depute mobile healthcare vans at weekly haat bazaars, frequented by forest dwellers for selling minor forest produce.
A pilot project will be launched in select gram panchayats next week and expanded to cover the entire Bastar division in a month. The move comes after alarming reports from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, where 113 children have died of Advanced Encephalitis Syndrome. The local administration has pegged malnutrition as the primary cause of death. According to Chhattisgarh government officials, the state plans to address malnutrition to avoid a similar outbreak during peak summer.
“Bastar has the highest malnutrition in Chhattisgarh. We have inherited the problem and are committed to eradicating it,” said chief minister Bhupesh Baghel. Nutritious food of choice will be provided to locals through gram panchayats and women self-help groups. Baghel said tribals living in Bastar do not have access to health care and hence all districts in the division have been included in the health index as most backward districts in terms of medical facilities.
“Bastar and Dantewada collectors have been directed to send medical teams comprising a doctor, mobile pathology unit, portable X-Ray unit and medicines to weekly markets as an immediate step,” the chief minister said, adding all districts in Bastar division — Kanker, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Bijapur, Dantewada, Bastar and Sukma — will be covered in a month.
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