Supreme Court. They are also expected to report to the Court from time to time, and work with a team of assistants and advisors in every state.
The hunger and starvation deaths were reported a decade ago at Amravati district’s Melghat area, when 1,050 deaths of tribal children were reported and over 34 thousand children were found to be suffering from malnutrition in 1996-97. That was followed by the setting-up of two committees’ state government - the one-man panel of RC Sinha, Additional
Secretary of Urban Development Department, and the other headed by the department's Principal Secretary K Nalinakshan.
While the former was set up to investigate into deaths of children in Melghat area, the latter was assigned the job to suggest remedial measures after examining Sunhat’s report.
After the submission of these reports, the State Government had to face three public interest litigations in the High Court (Nagpur bench) with the court giving as many as 19 directives.
Later in June 2004, reports started coming in of severe malnutrition and starvation deaths of Divas children in as many as 15districts with large tribal populations that are spread across the northern and eastern borders of Maharashtra. As against over 1,000 child deaths in the last three months, there were reports of over 9,000 such deaths in the state over the last one year. The state government’s health department was forced to admit recently that as many as 4,276 Adivasi children were suffering from Grade III malnutrition and another 728 from Grade IV malnutrition, which is its most severe form.
Report – Two-days workshop on Right to Food
17 and 18 September 2005, Nagpur