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This year 600 children died of malnutrition in Palghar: So what? says Maharashtra’s Tribal Welfare Minister

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Malnutrition in Nigeria. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Videos of Maharashtra’s Tribal Welfare Minister Vishnu Savra’s encounter with the tribals of Palghar went viral on the social media
  • Savra alleged that some activists of Shramjeevi Sanghatana, a local organisation, were instigating the tribals
  • Savra arrogantly shots back at the tribals saying, “If you don’t want me to come, then I won’t.

Palghar, Sept 17, 2016:Maharashtra’s Tribal Welfare Minister Vishnu Savra faced the ire of tribals in Palghar whose children have perished due to malnutrition.

When he visited a tribal hamlet in Khoch village in the worst-hit Mokhada sub-district on Thursday evening, angry locals confronted the minister and demanded answers.

Some infuriated tribals asked him, “600 children have died here (in 2016) what have you done for us?”

“So what? The government is doing its work, implementing schemes…..,” Savra retorted, as some of the enraged villagers virtually asked him to ‘get out’.

One grieving young tribal woman, whose two-year-old son died due to severe malnutrition late August, accosted the minister at the doorstep of her hut, “Where were you so long.. My son died 15 days ago and you come now? You want to click pictures? We don’t want to meet you. No need to come here.”

Other villagers also joined the chorus and said there was no need for the minister to come, and Savra arrogantly shot back, “If you don’t want me to come, then I won’t.”

 

Savra’s comments were dubbed as insensitive by the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and even ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena, with several leaders including Leader of Opposition (Congress) Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, demanding his resignation or dismissal from the cabinet.

 

Later, Savra alleged that some activists of Shramjeevi Sanghatana, a local organisation, were instigating the tribals and that his comments were being “twisted out of context,” even as videos of the encounter went viral on the social media.

The locals expressed their anger that though claims are made of huge funds being allocated for their welfare, they received no funds and had to even ‘beg’ for money to treat the child of the young tribal woman.

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The child’s condition suddenly worsened last month and he was rushed to a Nashik government hospital, but succumbed due to suspected malnutrition symptoms.

 

Stung by the villagers’ aggressive attitude, the BJP leader who is also Guardian Minister for the district, beat a hasty retreat along with his motorcade from the village.

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Governor C V Rao had directed three ministers — Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde, Tribal Welfare Minister Vishnu Savra and Minister for Public Health Deepak Sawant — to take urgent remedial steps to tackle malnutrition not only in Palghar but in other parts of the state also. (IANS)

 

  • Yokeshwari Manivel

    This type of political leader should be behind the bars,and also the government should provide a veto power to this tribal people so that they don’t explotated like this really feeling sad for those families.

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Algeria Embarking ‘Clean Hands’ Campaign Against Corruption, Questions Tycoons

Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month

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algeria, clean hands campaign, corruption
FILE - Protestors carry a large flag and chant slogans during a demonstration against the country's leadership, in Algiers, April 12, 2019. VOA

Algerian authorities are embarking on a “Clean Hands” campaign aimed at rooting out corruption that has been linked to top tycoons and current and former government officials. Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month. New protests are scheduled for Friday.

Several influential Algerians have been questioned or arrested in recent days. Among them is Issad Rebrab, head of Algeria’s biggest private conglomerate Cevital, who is suspected of possible customs-related violations and other financial wrongdoing, according to prosecutors.

Rebrab, 75, is estimated by Forbes to be Algeria’s richest man and employs 18,000 workers in his agribusiness empire. He tweeted that he went in voluntarily for police questioning. He was questioned for six hours before being taken to the El Harrach prison.

clean hands campaign, corruption
Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month. VOA

Others targeted include a legislator accused of accepting bribes from a Chinese company. Also detained for questioning this week were three wealthy brothers believed close to Bouteflika’s brother Said, and seven Industry Ministry officials suspected of “non respect of contractual commitments with state enterprises” and influence trading.

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The Kouninef brothers’ lawyers said they are respecting the legal procedures but need time to consult the case files before commenting. The brothers made their fortune in the oil, food and advertising businesses.

The highest court in Algeria announced in a statement Wednesday that it is considering a case against ex-energy minister Chakib Khelil for acts related to “violations of foreign exchange laws and transfers of capital to foreigners.” Khelil is a close friend of Bouteflika and a high school classmate. Other former ministers are also targeted. (VOA)