Alarming rise in Infant Mortality Rate in North Garo Hills: Assembly Panel on women

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​Observing the alarming rise in Infant Mortality Rate in North Garo Hills District, the Committee on Empowerment of Women, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly headed by Dr. M Ampareen Lyngdoh (MLA) during their visit to Garo Hills said, “About 84 infant deaths recorded between 2019 – 2020 till date in the district as this indicates serious concerns on Anti and Postnatal care of newborns.”

​​The committee chairperson, Dr. M Ampareen Lyngdoh said, “Although, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) data improved substantially from the last review undertaken by the Committee approximately 2 years ago, the numbers of home delivery continue to be high as 93 cases reported this year despite the Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojna increasing watchful supervision through the institution of 11 PHC, 50 sub-centers & 1 CHC in NGH.”

The MHIS coverage was under 50 % in the district, the inability to reach out to citizens was a huge concern, the committee observed.

The Committee on Empowerment of Women, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly also found that the processing of POCSO cases was slower in the region.

Talking to Meghalaya News 24, Lyngdoh said, “Follow up and processing of POCSO cases were slow as many cases remained pending and incomplete since 2015 onwards.”

The women panel had a review meeting with the North Garo Hills DC, SP, Social Welfare, PHE, Food & Civil Supply departments at Resubelpara. The MLAs, H Shangpliang, Miani D Shira, Rupert Momin, and Mayralborn Syiem are part of the Committee which is on a visit to Garo Hills.

Asserting that occurrence of Domestic violence and crimes against women and children are less than compared to some parts of the state, Lyngdoh points out, “ This delay in the processing of cases was due to frequent transfers in the Women Police Station – it was observed that there is an urgent need to ensure that Women Police Station should perform and deliver.”

Stating that victims of Crime Against Women and Child requires focus, the chairperson said, “The consistent counseling and hand-holding other than the provision of safe house facility is required as the Social Welfare Department needs regular reviewing and re-enforced dealing of cases to achieve expected results.”

About the ambitious Jal Jeevan project, the committee said, “The Jal Jeevan Mission lacked focus, house water connections in itself is a sound vision but coordination and evaluations of the water supply chain should precede all procedures for a successful and result oriented approach as several PHCs, CHS, Health sub-centers, Aganwadi Center’s, Educational institutions still don’t have portable PHE connections.”

The Women panel also maintains that registration of Aadhaar continues to be a challenge in the district.

“The district Aadhaar Nodal officer reported that non​ ​availability of manpower to operate kits for Aadhaar registry would further slow down the process of registration,” Ampareen said.

“NSFA & Non-NFSA coverage was a little over 50 % in the district, over 6730 families received food grain under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme in the recent lockdown period indicating that citizens without Ration Cards continue in to be outside of the food security net, raising a serious concern on the matter,” she added.

The Assembly panel also said that in the implementation of the MGNREGA North Garo Hills recorded a high registry of women in the job card scheme with 31,435 enrolments, as compared to the 9748 males’ registry.

In Kharkutta district up to 11 & 4 women were voted to the office of the President and the Secretary. The Committee took note of this good practice and recommends for its replica in all parts of the state.

​​Today, the Committee on Empowerment of Women, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly visited Ampati in South West Garo Hills where they conducted a review meeting. Dr. M Ampareen Lyngdoh led committee discussed in length about issues like the inclusion of women concerning job cards under MMEGRS, MHIS under the status of implementing, Mother Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate, the delivery system provided for pregnant women including malnutrition, Mechanism to control crimes against women, children and domestic violence and Proper drinking water provided in the District.​