Residents of a village in Gujarat’s Kutch district said that five children died there last month due to malnutrition, The New Indian Express reported on Wednesday. However, the authorities said that only two children died because of malnutrition.
The five children died at the Ludbai village between June 7 and June 15, the local sarpanch Jabbar Jat said.
Jat said that a child in his village fell sick while he was taking him to a hospital, and died on the way. He said that he later carried out an investigation and found that five children from 0 to 15 months of age had died of malnutrition in the preceding week.
“I also reported this issue to the Taluk and district levels, but the system took no action,” he alleged, according to The New Indian Express. “Following that, I sought assistance from a non-governmental organisation.”
On July 23, a local non-governmental organisation examined 322 children from the village, out of whom 39 children were found to be malnourished and in a serious state.
A doctor named Jayesh Kapadia, who examined the children, told mediapersons that he found 22 malnourished children in an hour.
However, Kutch District Development Officer Shailesh Prajapati said that only two deaths were related to malnutrition.
“One child died on May 15 in Ludbai village and in July, three children have died,” he told the newspaper. “Of the four, one child died due to low weight, one died due to fever and other reasons, while the remaining two died due to malnutrition.”