Millennium Development Goals for tribal health and education: Rights to “survival, growth, development, participation and protection” – Odisha

Members of the Dongria Kondh community in Odisha >>
Photo © Survival International

There is huge potential among tribal children and our state has been promoting their talents in fields of art, culture, sports and education. – Chief minister Naveen Patnaik (The Times of India, 21 December 2015)

Source: Odisha government to fund education of tribal students in elite schools – Times of India
Date Visited: Sat Aug 06 2016 13:53:43 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Subodh Varma, Times of India, Bhubaneswar  Jul 9, 2016

In the absence of an anganwadi or school in Nagada, the kids are deprived of nutritious meals.  […]

The village population is solely of the Juang scheduled tribe, one of India’s ancient tribes, declared ‘particularly vulnerable’ by the government. […]

There are an estimated 10,000 members of the Juang tribe left, mostly living in the forested hills of Jajpur and adjoining Keonjhar. They have no rights over their beloved forest and they can hardly claim any right over the minerals. Should they be left to slowly perish of hunger and disease even as the country becomes a superpower?

Source: How malnutrition is killing kids of a mineral-rich Odisha tribal village – Times of India
Date Visited: Sun Sep 11 2016 09:56:55 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Norway- India Partnership Initiative (NIPI)

Projects » External Aided Projects

The Government of Orissa is pleased to announce the launch of the Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) for promoting child health under National Rural Health Mission in the State of Orissa. A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed on 13th of December, 2007 towards this.
The Norway- India Partnership Initiative is an outcome of commitment by the Hon’ able Prime Minister of Norway and the Hon’ able Prime Minister of India, focusing on the issue of reducing child mortality and improving child health to attain the Millennium Development Goal 4 by the year 2015. Norway has contributed USD 80 million over five years for this purpose to five states of Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. These States together constitute 40 percent of India’s population and contribute almost 60% of child deaths in India. […]
The Government of Orissa is committed to support this enthusiastic initiative to realize its vision to improve the child health status in Orissa and India.

Source: External Aided Projects | Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Orissa
Date Visited: Sat Aug 06 2016 13:44:50 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Support strengthening
Bhubaneswar, dated the 12th Jan 2013:

UNICEF Country programme for 2013-2017 aims to advance the “rights of children, adolescents and women to survival, growth, development, participation and protection by reducing inequities based on cast, ethnicity, gender, poverty, region or religion”. Accordingly UNICEF would work in cooperation with Odisha Health & Family Welfare Department and contribute towards achievement of NRHM goal related to reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality in Odisha by 2017. They will also cooperate towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4,5 and 6 in Odisha by 2015 and sustainable Development Goals beyond 2015 . […]

Source: NewsUNICEF.pdf
Date Visited: Sat Aug 06 2016 13:40:43 GMT+0200 (CEST)

“It was assumed that tribal people have same health problems, similar needs and hence the uniform national pattern of rural health care would be applicable to them as well, albeit with some alteration in population: provider ratio. The different terrain and environment in which they live, different social systems, different culture and hence different health care needs were not addressed.” –Abhay Bang (Report of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health).” – Abhay Bang, Chairman, Expert Committee on Tribal health | Learn more >>

A history of neglect

Odisha has 62 tribes, the highest number among all States and Union Territories in the country, accounting for 22.85 per cent of the total population as per 2011 census. As many as 13 of these tribes have been identified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), living in over 500 habitations of the State but mostly in hamlets inside the forested hills across Odisha. The Juang tribe is one of the PVTGs that belong to the Munda ethnic group and live in Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Angul and Jajpur districts of Odisha and speak the Juang language, which is accepted as a branch of the greater Austroasiatic language family. Those who come down the hills at regular intervals have picked up Odia.

It was to bring the Juangs into the mainstream that the Juang Development Agency (JDA) was established in 1975, with its headquarters in Gonasika Hills in Keonjhar district. Even after four decades have elapsed, the agency has not been able to go beyond the Juangs of Keonjhar, operating in 35 villages in six gram panchayats of Banspal block of Keonjhar. In fact, around 20 more villages in that block are yet to be covered. Many other Juang-dominated villages in Harichandanpur block of Keonjhar, Kankadahad block of Dhenkanal have remained outside the purview of the JDA all these decades. As do the hamlets on the Nagada hills. They are inaccessible by road — there is only one way to get there, and that is by foot.

The tragedy at Nagada involving the Juang tribe exposes the government’s apathy towards the PVTGs, but this is not for the first time that malnutrition-related deaths have stalked the tribal children. […]

After Odisha Women and Child Development Minister Usha Devi’s comment that the Juangs lack awareness attracted criticism from the public and the Opposition, the State administration is working overtime to build roads to Nagada using Integrated Action Plan funds by involving the Forest and Rural Development departments. […]

Source: Prafulla Das on The lost tribe of Odisha due to acute malnutrition-related diseases – The Hindu
Date Visited: Sat Aug 06 2016 13:28:12 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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