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Rays of Hope in the Darkness

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I would like to bring to light some facts with reference to the editorial “Perpetual Areas of Darkness” (EPW, 24 September 2016).

It is acknowledged that malnutrition is one of the factors that contributes to the deaths of innocent children from the tribal belts of Maharashtra. There are other factors like lack of adequate medical care (no primary health centres or sub-centres nearby) and other infrastructural issues along with insufficient manpower to run these health facilities, especially in the remote inaccessible tribal pockets of the state, in addition to societal issues. The Government of Maharashtra is trying its best to address these critical gaps through various measures and the direct devolution of 5% Tribal Sub Plan Funds to Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) or PESA gram panchayats, an important initiative.

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