Ashok Gehlot led Congress government, after the deaths of three Sahariya children due to malnutrition in Kishangan area of the district, had launched the special food scheme in December 2012 for the tribe. Under the scheme, each Sahariya family was distributed 2 kg of pulses, two liters of cooking oil with 1 kg of pure ghee every month to fight against malnutrition. The previous government had also raised the 100 job days to 200 days for Sahariya families. But since the BJP led government came in power in months ago, these schemes were stopped in the name of review.
As the reports of malnutrition deaths hit the media headlines, state government ordered the resumption of the same schemes. ‘The maximum employment for Sahariya tribal community has been increased to 200 man days from 100 days in a year with immediate effect’, said Baran district collector Lalit Gupta. Gupta further added the children, pregnant women and mothers of Sahariya families of the district would again be given double supplement food at Anganbari centers. The state government has given sanction to it on Wednesday, he said.
Resumption of welfare schemes for Sahariya tribe would certainly help them fight malnutrition in the district as it did earlier, said Motilal, coordinator of Sankalp, an NGO working in the region but added ‘lifestyle and non hygienic conditions among the Sahariya tribe are more responsible for malnutrition among them.’
Currently about 100 children are undergoing treatment at Malnutrition Treatment Centers (MTC) in Sahabad and Kelvada areas of the district. Block Program Manager (BPO) Sunil Saini told 70 children in Sahabad and 30 children in Kelvada Malnutrition Centers are undergoing treatment and added ‘over 9o percent of these children are from Sahariya community’. Saini further told Rs.200 are given by the government to the mothers of Sahariya children undergoing treatment at MTCs for nutrient food at home.
Former president of ration dealer association Rajveer Singh Yadav alleged the welfare schemes for tribal are only a mirage for Sahariya tribal as most of their ration cards for accessing the food and edibles from fair prize shops are mortgaged with the money lenders and shop owners. Ashok Sharma, a teacher in a government school in Sahariya populated area also told most of the ration cards of the Sahariya families are either mortgaged with the fair prize shop owners and money lenders or totally worn out.
According to the data of recent malnutrition deaths, Rahul of Pathari
subdivision died of malnutrition during treatment at MTC in August while Kallo
D/O Jaipal Sahariya of Boyal village and Rinku S/O Shivraj Sahariya of
Chorakhadi village died at MTCs in this month. Krishana S/O Sharmaram of the
same area is also reported to have died of malnutrition at his home. village of Sahabad