Raisuan: Shibani Munda, a widow and mother of a 14-month-old malnourished girl who is also afflicted with tuberculosis, reflects all that is wrong in the remote and tribal pockets of Keonjhar.
A resident of Plashpanda village under Sadar block, Shibani had lost her husband Shama Munda to tuberculosis in February last year. Ever since, she has been struggling to make ends meet, unable to even give her daughter Rina the food a patient of tuberculosis would need.
She does not have a ration card, widow pension or even financial assistance under the Harishchandra Yojana for her dead husband.
She bemoaned,” I do odd jobs to keep my pot boiling. As my kid is critical, I can’t go out for work. We often go empty stomach.”
The baby was first admitted to Padmapur CHC and later to the district headquarters hospital, but there was no improvement in her condition.
Rina is not the only malnourished kid in these parts. It was alleged that they were found in many parts under Sadar block.
Shibani and Rina suffer even as the government has been spending crores on a plethora of schemes to ensure good health of children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. But cases of malnutrition among children are still reported from remote and tribal pockets of Keonjhar amid allegations that such schemes are ineffective in the areas for lack of proper monitoring.
Shibani’s co-villagers have demanded immediate help to the widow and her ailing kid.