How Corruption, Negligence Lead to Infant Mortality

Malpractices plagues Anganwadis in Ramgarh, District, Jharkhand 

About the Video: Dini Tudu is a tribal woman from the village of Ulhuru in Ramgarh district, Jharkhand. On 18th March, 2012, Dini lost her twin children at birth to an act of sheer negligence on part of thevolunteers and workers at the district health centre. They even charged her Rs. 1000/- for their “services”. For Dini, the incident and the trauma was only a deja vu from 3 years ago when she had lost a previous child due to inefficiency of the government health programs. 

Dini is the sister of Community Correspondent Manju Kisku. Manju says that the continued apathy and the widespread malpractices have caused the women in the area to lose faith in the very system that has been put in place to safeguard them. Continued pleas and complaints are ignored or deflected. The officials are more likely to blame others or even the women themselves rather than check and correct their own faulty functioning. 

Manju has made the video so you, as a concerned viewer, can support her in her fight to secure the health and safety of some of the most vulnerable women and children in Ramgarh. 

Community Correspondent Says: As per the 2001 census, Jharkhand has a high rate of infant mortality. For every 1000 live births, 71 die before turning one. The numbers in rural Jharkhand are even direr. 

To provide information about health and nutrition is among the five pre-defined objectives of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) which are managed by the Anganwadi centers. Along with information, immunization, nutrition, health check ups and non-formal education are some of the services meant to be provided. While Anganwadis have certainly helped improve raise the overall standards of health and living across the country, critics of the implementation say that it has not necessarily reached the poorest and the most in need. Mismanagement, corruption and apathy are rife in the system. 

Manish Kumar, Video Volunteers’ Program Manager has spent his childhood in Ramgarh, Jharkhand describes it as a region of great poverty and discontent. The region has been identified as one of the most Backward Districts in the country which needs special support and attention to develop. The women in marginalized district are among the most oppressed and susceptible citizens in the country. Health and nutrition and information are essential services that go a long way towards empowering them. The failure of the ICDS to deliver when it is most needed is a matter of great concern. Dini Tadu is only one among millions of poor rural women who have been denied essential services that could have saved their lives and the lives of their unborn children. 

Call to Action: Manju Kisku asks the viewers to pressurize  Smt. Vandana Kaur, Divisional Health Officer, Mandu,  Ramgarh dist. and ask her to look into Anganwadis and Health centers under her supervision and ensure that basic health provisions and information are provided to people and to tragedies like Dini Tudu’s are never repeated. 

Related Link

State of Heath in Jharkhand-  a Report

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