Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kolam Starvation Deaths Data - ATR

In a PIL filed with the Nagpur Bench, of Maharashtra High Court, clarifications, data and figures have been requested regarding Action Taken Reports (ATR), submitted by the state government.
Exact figures and data, have been requested for Kolam Habitation, Yavatmal, deaths between July 2006 - December 2006.
The Honourable High Court has asked for the comments to be returned within 15 days.

1. The State of Maharashtra,
Through The Chief Secretary, Mantralaya, Mumbai – 32. 2. The Secretary,
Department of Tribal Development, Mantralaya, Mumbai – 32.
3. The Secretary,
Department of Food & Civil Supply, Mantralaya, Mumbai – 32.
4. The Divisional Commissioner, Amravati Revenue Division, Camp, Amravati.
5. The District Collector, Yavatmal, District – Yavatmal.

The Petitioner Kishor Tiwari, strongly objected the Govt. of Maharashtra's submission, and told to High Court, that Govt. of Maharashtra, is not serious in saving Kolam tribals in Vidarbha as they have acted just against their Action Taken Report in areas of health care, food supply, housing, child and women welfare etc.
He pointed out that the Govt has reduced the staff and fund on these programmes and over thousand Kolam tribals have been deleted from the list of BPL families in the recent past. The ICDS scheme has completely failed and more malnutrition and child deaths have been reported in the Vidarbha.

The High Court was shocked to learn from the govt. reply on the final report that Kolam tribals are asked to go to work 140 k.m. away from their actual habitat and they have not even provided basic facilities of shelter, food and education. The govt. has misused the 9% reserved fund meant for tribals for the salaries of babus in the state, which is against the constitutional provision, Kishor Tiwari informed the honourable court.

The Kolam starvation PIL has been listed in next 15 days

Points raised in petition are :
1. The beneficiaries of Annapurna and Antodaya Scheme are not included in the list of below poverty line.
2. Supply and quality check of the food-grains of PDS :
3. Clothing to the Kolambs :
4. Shelter to Tribal families: It was found that the Kolams are not having shelter and in monsoon season they have to pass sleepless nights on trees and hence a special project for housing is required.
5. Drinking Water : The report demonstrated the sorry state of water supply so also the availability of potable drinking water to the tribals and also the fluoride contaminated water.
6. Health Services Recommendations is to have qualified Doctors, trained staff and adequate medicines.
7. Regular Employment to the tribal.
8. Education to Tribal Families. The Commissioner has found in various villages the nutritious diets in the schools was not supplied, neither the Khichadi is distributed. The post in Ashram Schools were found vacant.
9. Benefit of various schemes of Central / State Govt.
10. Budgetary allocations for Tribal sub-plan for implementation of the basic schemes of food, shelter, health, education and water.
11. Sensitization of Government officials, about the Tribal issues, for understanding their problems.

The petitioners have pointed out, with disappointment, that the Action Taken Report is not at all a report but is an eye-wash having not a single statement about what action in which area is taken.

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