Posts filed under ‘Poverty and hunger’

Capital set for a green facelift while the rural Odisha suffers from poverty, starvation, farmer suicide and poor infrastructure

Following graphics is from the Telegraph:

May 3, 2012 at 1:27 am Leave a comment

Starvation death continues in Naveen Patnaik’s kingdom

Following is a PTI report:

Bhubaneswar, Jan 18 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission today asked Orissa government to submit a detailed report on health, education and public distribution delivery system in Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput region after 12 children in that area died allegedly due to starvation.

The rights body issued the direction at its camp sitting here while disposing a case of alleged starvation death of 12 children in Nabarangpur and Balangir districts in 2010.

The issue was taken up by the NHRC which conducted an investigation through its special rapporteur Damodar Sarangi last year.

Besides NHRC chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan, three other members disposed the matter at the camp sitting.

Though the state government in its report to the NHRC claimed that the death of 12 children in KBK region was not due to starvation, the Commission refused to accept the argument, NHRC secretary K S Mani said.

January 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Why Orissa as a state can’t develop?; A report from merinews

Following report is taken from merinews:

The Government of India’s National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in a report has released the well-being index of India. The same tell about the quality of life in India. This report has mentioned that six districts of Orissa being in the list of worst twenty districts of India. Rayagada district ranks the worst in India followed by Kandhamal, Nuapada, Bolangir, Koraput and Bargarh, all in Western and Southern part of the state, are ranked at 4,9,10 & 19 from the bottom respectively.
It has been many years since the Government. of India has been pumping thousands of Crores as special budget for the welfare of these districts of Western and Southern Orissa through scheme like KBK. Then how is it that after so many years of huge money inflow into these districts there is no change in statistics? Who is accountable for this mishap? Is the Chief functionary of the state not responsible for this?”
Orissa, one of the poorest of states in the Indian union, is inhabited by more than 24% of tribal population concentrated mostly in North-Western, Western and Southern part of the state. Due to the negligence of all successive state governments, the development of these three patches are far behind the Coastal Orissa tract by any parameter even though these regions are full of minerals and natural resources.
In two occasions, during 1936 and 1948, these tribal dominated Western and Southern regions amalgamated into then Orissa division (precisely the present Coastal Orissa) from erstwhile Central and Madras presidency of British ruled India respectively to form Orissa state in the line of linguistic similarities. But, reality is, till now the native people residing in these regions don’t know how to speak the state official language Odiya, which is practiced in Coastal Orissa districts in particular. Vast region of Western Orissa communicate in variants of Sambalpuri language (also termed as Kosli by some) and with numerous tribal languages practiced by the indigenous tribal population. This leads to poor enrolment in school which encourages Odiya as the medium of education and thus a high school dropout rate is seen in these regions. Students are forced to learn Odiya language in school which is different than what they practice in day to day life.
The differentiation between the then Orissa Division (Coastal Orissa) and the newly added Western and Southern regions is well maintained by all successive state Governments, while allocating funds and in developmental works.
Inhabited by app.50% of the state population (17,899,735 as per 2001 Census) and spread in 28.73% of total land of the state (44,355.4 Sq Km), this Coastal Orissa tract is given utmost priority by all the successive state governments and have been enjoying all sorts of developmental works in the name of Orissa. Where as a vast land with more than 71.27% of the total land area of Orissa state (109,992 Sq Km), and with a population of little above half of the state population is depriving basic needs.
It is pity that present state government too, has done nothing to minimize the gap between the coastal and the rest of Orissa in its decade long rule; but increasing it by concentrating every developmental activity in and around the state capital Bhubaneswar. During this government’s tenure, all the national institutes for higher studies and research sanctioned by the central government are established or proposed to establish in and around Bhubaneswar. Due to this capital centric attitude, common masses refer the Chief Minister Nabin Pattnaik as the Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation than the CM of the state.
In recent development except for the Central University, all the educational and research institutes of national repute, such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), etc awarded by Central Government for the entire state are located in and around Bhubaneswar. This has brought a distinction for Bhubaneswar as the only city in India to have an IIT, AIIMS and NISER at one location.
Central Government has also proposed to establish a National Innovative University (World Class), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), ESI Medical College and Hospital, Railway Medical College in Bhubaneswar, and another IIIT in Berhampur in Coastl Orissa, neglecting the rest state.
Existing and proposed Central funded National Institutes and Universities in Orissa:
Rest Orissa Coastal Orissa
1. NIT, Rourkela, Dist. Sundargarh 1. IIT, Bhubaneswar
2. Central University, Koraput 2. IIT – Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar Branch
3. Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, (IIHT), Bargarh 3. National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubanneswar
4. Food Craft Institute, Balangir 4. AIIMS like Institute, Bhubaneswar
5. IIIT, Bhubaneswar
6. National University, Bhubaneswar (proposed)
7. IIIT, Berhampur (Work on progess)
8. Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM), Bubaneswar
9. Institute of Minerals and Material Technology, Bhubaneswar
10. Indian Institute of Mass Communications,(IIMC), Dhenkanal
11. Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack
12. Biju Pattanaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI), Puri
13. Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Bhubaneswar
14. Eastern Regional Language Centre for CILL, Bhubaneswar
15. Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar
16. Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
17. Regional Medical Research Centre, (RMRC), Bhubaneswar
18. Central Fisheries Institute, Kousalyaganga, Bhubaneswar
19. Regional Research Laboratory,Bhubaneswar
20. National Research Centre for Women in Agriculture (NRCWA), Bhubaneswar
21. Ocean Science and Technology Cell (OSTC), Berhampur
22. National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (NIRTAR), Cuttack
23. National Institute of Design (NID), Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
24. NIFT, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
If you consider the allotment of health facilities in the state the picture of disparities done towards the rest of the tribal regions of the state gets crystal clear. There is just one state run Medical College, viz, VSS Medical College & Hospital, Burla in Sambalpur for the entire Western Orissa, there are state run SCB Medical college in twin cities of Bhubaneswar – Cuttack , MKCG Medical College in Berhampur, a city just 179 Km from Bhubaneswar by Road and 165 Km by train.
Mahandi Coal Field Ltd. (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, a Central Government entity which has operation in Western as well as Central Orissa, is too establishing a Medical College Hospital in Talcher Town, 150 Km from state Capital Bhubaneswar, with state government’s active persuasion. The defense dept has proposed to set up a medical college in Baleswar, another town in Coastal Orissa with a distance of 198 Km by Road from Bhubaneswar.
State government has recently proposed to upgrade Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar to a Medical College with a hoping budget of 32.5 Crores. It is also been proposed to set up Government. Medical College & Hospital in Baleswar where as the state government is trying to establish 3 Private Medical Colleges in backward tribal dominated Western Orissa in PPP mode since last 15 years through Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) with a financial grant of 5 Crores each. There is no progress seen in establishing these Medical colleges in these backward regions of Orissa.
So, a question instantly arises in mind, “Why private Medical College & Hospital for poor tribal region of Western Orissa, who can’t afford a full meal a day and central and state funded Government. Medical Colleges & Hospitals for Coastal Orissa?” Is this not pure discrimination?
Central and State sponsored Medical Institutions in Orissa
Rest Orissa Coastal Orissa
1. VSS Medical College, Burla, Sambalpur 1. SCB Medical college, Cuttack
2. Medical College under Central University, Koraput 2. SCB Dental College, Cuttack
3. MKCG Medical College, Berhampur
4. Capital Medical College, Bhubaneswar
5. AIIMS, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
6.ESI Medical College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
7. Medical College under National Innovative University, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
8. ECO Railway Medical College, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
9. Medical College by MCL, Talcher, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd
10. Medical College, Balasore (Proposed by State Government.)
11. Medical College, Balasore (proposed by Defence dept)
Points to notice that Balangir, Kalahandi, in this back ward Western Orissa, many times have created news in national media for starvation deaths. Low-income people in these backward districts can hardly afford the cost of good health care even for their children who suffer from early death, under nutrition and anemia. As against the State figure of 65 infant deaths per 1000 life births, district like Kalahandi in the Western Orissa had 119 infant deaths.
Prevalence of undernourishment among children is also high in these tribal dominating districts. The health situation is really gloomy if we look at maternal death rates. Women in these households work hard at home, in the fields, bear children and do not get the medical attention while giving birth to children.
Occurrence of malaria remains a threat to the people in the tribal areas. As many as 158 blocks in tribal districts, which contribute 70 per cent of the malarial cases, suffer the worst. Sometimes outbreak of mysterious diseases in these regions takes a heavy toll of life. Poverty and deprivation leave very little money with people to spend on the treatment of diseases and illness.
The state government is earning maximum revenue from these under developed tribal belts through mining and industries. When the industries are exploiting and polluting the region, are opening health care units and educational facilities in Coastal Orissa with state government’s active persuasion. The recent Vedanta group promoted World Class University in Puri- Konark Road with a budget of 15,000 Cr and in an area of 6,000 Acre sets the perfect example. Vedanta Industries Ltd has established two Aluminum plants in Western Orissa, the refinery unit and captive power plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi District and smelter plant with captive power plant at Jharsuguda, where as it is opening its 100 bed capacity burn and trauma care unit in Bhubaneswar, which i
s at a distance of 400 Km from Jharsuguda and more than 450 Km from Lanjigarh.

Hundreds of crores rupees received from central government in the name of KBK has become a source of exploitation for the state government. The head quarter of the KBK scheme is at the state capital Bhubaneswar, far away from the problems people are facing in their every day life. This century of exploitation by all successive state government since the formation of the state in 1936, towards these tribal pockets has forced them to shout for a separate state of Kosal comprising 11 districts and a sub-division of Western Orissa. Also, the Maoist guerillas are spreading in rest tribal districts in rapid speed taking advantage of this.

These entire exploitation stories remind the colonial era and raise some fundamental questions about democratic rights in India.

July 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm 2 comments

Central funds for Kalahandi returned unspent;In such a situation who is to blame, the Orissa or the centre?

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The Naveen Patnaik Government often said that the Union Government is neglecting the State and not sanctioning adequate funds. But the developmental funds in reality are remaining unspent and are returned.

With funds especially in the most backward district of Kalahandi remaining unspent has exposed the failure of the State Government. From this, it can be ascertained how successfully developmental programmes for the poor are being implemented.

Kalahandi, one of the most backward districts of the State is always in news for wrong reasons like deaths due to starvation and selling of children which have created a stir in the country. The KBK region was formed because of this. Many announcements were made but many people are still leaving the district to work was migrant labourers. The Central Government had sanctioned funds for implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Over Rs 51.42 crore, including the previous year’s unspent money was given to the district. But due to the failure of the district administration Rs 20 crore has been returned and the Government in not bothered and claimed that as it is a labour-oriented scheme, money was returned due to less requirement of labour.

While thousands of people are leaving the district the Government says there is requirement of labour in the district and nobody was made accountable for the unspent funds. In such a situation who is to blame, the State or the Centre, asked intellectuals.

July 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

Balangir MP demand 8-year Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput (KBK) plan’s early approval

Following report is from The Pioneer:

Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo has demanded early approval of the eight-year, 2009-10 to 2016-17, perspective plan of Rs 4,500 crore for Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput (KBK) region, submitted to the Central Government by the State.

Participating in the Zero Hour discussion in the Parliament on Wednesday, MP Singh Deo raised the matter saying even today the region has many adverse human development indicators and is one of the most backward regions in the country.

A study by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has listed the eight KBK districts at the bottom of 69 most backwards districts, Singh Deo further argued.

The implementation of the revised long term action plan since1998-99 has resulted in a whopping 24.65 per cent decline in poverty from 87.1 per cent in 1999-2000 to 62.5 per cent.

With a view to sustaining the development and consolidating the gains of previous efforts, the Centre should approve soon the State-submitted perspective plan, Singh Deo demanded.

May 5, 2010 at 7:27 am Leave a comment

Readers’ reaction on an article published in Times of India about “Hunger deaths in Balangir district of Orissa”

Here is the link to the article and comments on it:

Readers’ opinions (3)

Post a Comment
shankar balangir 30/04/2010 at 11:00 pm
The politicians are solely responsible for this damn thing. these hell scoundrels hv done nothing except corrupting themslves. they dont fear God. and the hell political parties always work for own profit. people are lazy. go do some work instead eating the sand of the river.
Satyajit Balangir 30/04/2010 at 06:26 pm
Bloody Orissa govt. busy in developing only 60 miles corridor of cuttack to puri and criminally neglecting western orissa for last 7 decades..particularly Balangir..God will definitely punish these asshole politicians for deliberately killing these innocent people..Request NGO’s 2 plz help my people
Vighnesh Bhubaneswar 30/04/2010 at 06:23 pm
When will the administration do something….ironically the ruling party was busy organising a Bandh…??

May 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm 1 comment

Ailing Sambalpuri (Dalkhai) dancing star’ “Gurubari Mirdha” struggles for survival

Following is a TOI report:

SAMBALPUR: She had held the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi spellbound with her dance performance when she was just 16.

Forty years later, the dancer is old and helpless, living in an incomplete Indira Awas Yojana house with her husband. She does not even get two square meals a day. Her husband, who suffers from a fractured leg, is also not in a position to earn a living. The ailing couple lives at the “mercy” of locals.

The extremely talented Sambalpuri (Dalkhai) dancer, Gurubari Mirdha, is today bedridden in her house in M Gandpali under the Bijepur police station of Bargarh district, about 85 km from Sambalpur. She wiles away the hours reminiscencing her halcyon days. Indira Gandhi, who had a great fetish for Orissa art and culture, could not resist the temptation of joining her on stage when she was performing in the Capital in 1968. The turning point in her career, felt the dancer, was this performance in Delhi. “I was taken aback by the Prime Minister’s spirited move. She joined me on stage. I was a little nervous but she made me feel very comfortable. She held my hand and danced with me. Later, we photographed together,” recalled the dancer.

Gurubari, who is now 56, has received numerous awards and citations from organisations like the Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi, Adivasi Bhasa Sanskruti Academy, Mathkhai Utsav, Bolangir and Lokmohotsav Sambalpur.

 She also gave many performances on Doordarsan.

Her room is stacked with certificates and mementoes that talk about her glorious past. “I received several awards and mementoes during my 40-year career, but these are now meaningless as I am starving,” she said. “Earlier we could manage with my husband’s earnings. He was a daily labourer but the fracture has rendered him jobless,” complained Gurubari.

Good Samaritans in her locality extended a helping hand to the couple to tide over their financial crisis. “But the money given to her is not sufficient,” said retired MD of OHPC, K K Supkar. “She needs a regular income.”

Neighbour Biranchi Sahu said, “We feel proud to belong to her village. We try to help her whenever possible. But the government should do something long-term in her interest.” Sahu felt the Indira Awas Yojana accommodation given to her by the government, can be completed for one, with provision for water and sanitation.

When contacted, district collector, Bargarh, expressed ignorance about the dancing star’s plight but assured he would look into the matter. “Since I am new to the district I have not much idea about her condition. But I will take necessary steps to alleviate her suffering,” promised Bhabagrahi Mishra, the collector.

May 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

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