NHRC notice to the Government of Uttar Pradesh over reported deaths due to malnutrition in Ojhaganj village of the Basti district (19.02.2020)
New Delhi, 19th February, 2020
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo-motu cognizance of a media report that a family residing at Ojhaganj village of the Basti district in Uttar Pradesh has lost four of its members during the last six years due to malnutrition. Reportedly, not being able to bear the extreme physical and mental suffering, the head of the family, has requested the authorities to allow him end his life as he is not being given work by anyone for the last three months and has no source of income to procure bread and butter for him and lone daughter, who is also struggling to survive.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise a serious issue of human rights violation due to the lack of nutritional diet, adequate medical care and proper means of livelihood. Such reported tragic deaths, due to malnutrition and lack of other basic facilities are a matter of concern for it. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, through its Chief Secretary, calling for a detailed report in the matter including the data pertaining to effective implementation social welfare schemes in the district, specifically mentioning about the family referred in the news report.
The Commission would also like to know the present health status of the only child of Harishchandra and steps taken to ensure some source of income for him by the State. Details of the relief provided to the family by the district administration be also informed. The response is expected within four weeks.
Issuing the notice, the Commission has further observed that the media report indicates that there could be more such hapless families, shattered due to the lack of infrastructure and negligence by the authorities concerned. Such incidents are happening in spite of a large number of the flagship programmes having been announced and their implementation being monitored by the Union and the State governments to ensure socio-economic protection to the citizens including their right to food, health, education, housing and adequate standard of living. These schemes have been designed and developed to protect the vulnerable sections of the society focusing upon women, pregnant ladies, lactating mothers, newly born and young children.