I met Jaising Baiga of Tilaidabra village in Chhattisgarh on a hot, humid afternoon earlier this week. I had gone to his house to see his daughter Jyothi, who the health worker in the village described as "kamzor", or weak.
|Jaising Baiga and his family in their hut|
Two other Baiga men from his village also work there.
Their mud and tile hut is falling to pieces, some of the tiles on the roof missing in one corner. In another corner the broken tiles had let in the rain resulting in the corner being washed away and leaving two walls in danger of collapsing any moment. He will be here for four months now during the agricultural season before returning to Pratapgarh later in the year, he said.
Jaising is extremely thin, as is his wife Meena who works as an
agricultural labourer in Tilaidabra and nearby villages. And their
daughter Jyothi is severely underweight for her age.
The Anganwadi building in the village is dilapidated and a hazard to enter, and the anganwadi worker lives far away and comes to the village once a month to distribute the month's allocation of dry rations to the children enrolled at the centre.
I had gone to enquire about the young child, to visit the family, to ask about her diet and health, and to advise the mother if necessary, on what she needed to do to improve the child's nutritional status.
After meeting the family and talking to Jaising, I left without offering any solutions. I found I lacked the courage to do so.
|View of Tilaidabra with Anganwadi centre in the foreground|
|Tilaidabra Anganwadi centre. |