Mumbai, Jan 12: Five malnourished children are being treated at Rajawadi Hospital, and this tragedy seems to have become a photo-op of sorts for politicians.
Netas from across parties were seen streaming into the hospital yesterday, posing with children and their grieving families.
This scenario reached boiling point when Maharashtra’s opposition leader Ramdas Kadam’s party men roughed up the project coordinator of CRY Arokya Mary for speaking up against the leader.
Her request was to not politicise the issue. “All day politicians have been coming to the children and giving them food and cash. Not one of them spoke of malnutrition as a social problem that needs to be addressed,” said Mary.
When Kadam spoke of bringing up the matter in the Vidhan Sabha, Mary asked him not to politicise the issue but to look for solutions.
“He got irritated and more than 25-30 men gheroed me and assaulted me,” added Mary, who was then taken to the Tilak Nagar police chowky for obstructing work and causing chaos in the hospital.
“All I said was that politicians across parties should demand an enquiry and a survey across Mumbai so that the issue can be tackled on war footing,” added Madhukant Patharia from the NGO Social Activists for literacy and Health (SALAH).
A hospital worker confirmed that both children and their families had been inconvenienced all day with the stream of politicians.
She made a scene at the hospital: Kadam
However Ramdas Kadam denied having roughed up Mary. “In fact, I was assuring them of every possible assistance. But she raised her voice and questioned my intentions.
The police took her outside because she was making a scene. I insisted that they let her go,” added Kadam.
This Shiv Sainik now intends to write to the Chief Minister to check on the severity of the problem. “I have also asked party workers to conduct a survey to check the severity of the problem.”
We will conduct a special enquiry
Meanwhile Municipal Commissioner Johny Joseph added that preliminary reports had not confirmed malnutrition but skin infections and fever. “However we have called in expert paediatricians and will conduct an enquiry to check on the problem and what is the extent of malnutrition, if any,” said Joseph. Seema Mallik chief medical superintendent of peripheral hospitals of the BMC, confirmed that the reports would be available on Sunday to check on the degree of malnutrition.