2-Year-Old Tripura Child Starves to Death amid COVID-19 Lockdown

2-Year-Old Tripura Child Starves to Death amid COVID-19 Lockdown

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Agartala, April 4, 2020:

A 2-year-old child, Risa Debbarma, allegedly died of starvation at a remote of tribal dominated hamlet of Tripura. The death of the 2-year-old is the first of it's kind since the centre imposed the 21-day lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The incident took place on March 28 when Risa breathed her last at her residence located at Samrucheraa village under Jamtailbari ADC village. Her parents, unfortunately, were unable to secure her life as they were unable to procure ration, they have admitted.

The incident, it can be argued, has brought to light the government’s failure in reaching out to the remoter areas with its welfare packages announced in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Meanwhile, Risa’s father Nripendra Debbarma, who is a firewood collector accused the government and the local authorities of negligence.

The child's father, in the wake of the lockdown, was reportedly forced to stay at home and their paltry kitchen stock ran out within a few days.

Speaking to Inside Northeast, Nripendra said that they had nothing to feed the child for days. And, when after repeated attempts nobody turn up for help, Nripendra and his wife Phulan resorted to eat “Boheda”. The fruit is being locally used to get fed instead of carbohydrate.

However, although Nripendra and his wife survived, their child reportedly could not digest the fruit.

According to a doctors' report, the 2-year-old girl died after a spell of repeated vomiting and lose motion. A local SDPO has also corroborated the incident.

When asked as to why he was not lifting his free ration from FP shop as announced by the Chief Minister, he said, “Except me and my mom nobody is entitled to the PDS system. My wife and my children do not even have Adhaar cards. Thus, the ration we get every month is not enough to feed all of our family members. But, I tried my best to contact the administration to help us in the situation, but was unable to do so."

Moreover, Nripendra was not allowed to go to the market to sell firewood due to the lockdown, which made his life very difficult. His wife, who works at a nearby plantation, was also forced to stay at home.

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As soon as this came to light, the civil administration swung into action and helped the family with ration and money, alongwith the promise of granting them AADHAAR cards. Representatives of political leaders also visited the family and assured help.

However, the ill-fated family has said that if they had received help a few days earlier, their child could have survived.

Meanwhile, there are 150-odd families in the region who fear that a similar fate could befall them if the lockdown continues beyond its stipulated time.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Apr 04, 2020