Welfare Society of No Use Condition Still The Same in Attapady

Published on: 09 May, 2013
Published under: Hill Area Development Agency, Kerala Real Estate Updates

May 8 2013

Attappady Area is in great health doom as there are increasing no of deaths of infants dur to malnutrition. Since December 1 last year, 18 infants have died in Attappady — most of them less than two-and-a-half months old. Records with the Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP) office show the babies “did not have the ability to imbibe nutrition.”

Findings of a “mega” medical camp conducted by the Health Department at the Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara on April 20 were startling: 536 of the 836 people from the Scheduled Tribes who participated suffered from malnutrition and anaemia. And 125 of them were children below five years.

The reason for the dismaying statistics can be found in the debris of welfare projects across Attappady over the years. One of them is the Attappady Hills Area Development Society (AHADS). Set up with a financial aid of Rs. 219 crore from the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1994 under the Rural Development Ministry, AHADS began work two years later with the sole objective of introducing “ecological stability and social engineering through tribal people’s participation.”

But AHADS came to a standstill in 2010-2011. “We just stopped getting projects,” says N.C. Induchoodan, its Director. About 80 Adivasi staffers, who lost their jobs after AHADS became defunct, are fighting the government for work. Dr. Induchoodan says an AHADS mobile health unit used to visit all 183 tribal hamlets once in three months. Today, post the malnutrition deaths, a half-baked attempt has been made to revive the society.

Work has been scarce for the past two months. Rajendra Prasad, president of Thampu, a tribal activist and research group based in Attappady, says this is because the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) works have come to a stop.

Source– http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/in-attappady-a-welfare-society-in-distress/article4693381.ece

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