- Mar 10, 2009
As tribals starve, High Court likens babus to Brits
"The unfortunate part is that when the British were here they did not bother about the tribals. The same kind of approach [that existed] before Independence has continued with the bureaucracy," Justice Kanade said.
The bench said that for nearly a decade the matter had been pending before the court and various orders had been passed. "Sometimes we feel we are doing an exercise in futility," Justice Kanade said.
Bhide also showed that in Thane district between 2009 and 2016 there had been "marked reduction in child deaths", from 1,080 to 103. "The state is trying its level best," she said.
To a query from the court, she said schemes were being implemented to tackle malnutrition. The bench said it was not satisfied with the progress made by the government. It referred to a social activist's report which said that while 18,000 deaths had been reported, large numbers had gone unreported. It remarked that the situation in Palghar, where there were malnutrition deaths, had remained the same after two months.
The judges were informed by petitioner-activist Bandya Sane that a lab report on a nutrition supplement for children showed nutrients were lower than represented. They directed the government to take the opinion of the Ratan Tata Institute and other experts to advise it on the type of food that should be supplied to combat malnutrition.