When 28-year-old Farida Mirza delivered twins on September 15, she had no idea that her daughter, Ila, will die of malnutrition soon after. Ila expired on November 1, 2012, weighing just 2.4kg; 100 gms lighter than her birth weight of 2.5kg.
Malnutrition deaths continue in poverty-stricken areas of Mumbai like Rafiq Nagar, Baiganwadi and Govandi even now, stated members of non-government organisation Movement for Peace and Justice Mumbai (MPJ). MPJ has worked for two years in the Mankhurd area on the malnutrition problem and has found that no change has taken place despite the “intervention” by the state.
In an area where 99% of the residents work on the Deonar dumping ground as garbage collectors without any basic facilities, MPJ has asked for immediate intervention of the civil society to coerce the state into action and stop nutrition deaths.
Speaking to DNA, Shabbir Deshmukh of MPJ said, “A 7-month baby girl died on October 31. She weighed 3kg, both during her birth and at her death. That family does not have any water, electricity or sanitation facility. The babies are dying of TB, pneumonia and diarrhoea.” Deshmukh said that the situation in the area has remained unchanged for a while now. “Not just nutrition, here the people need more health care centers that are accessible and a special ward in a government hospital in the vicinity for infants and children suffering from malnutrition,” he added.