A killer is on the prowl in the dense hilly forests of the Melghat region of Maharashtra's Amravati district. In the past four-and-a-half months, 336 tribal children have fallen prey to it. It's hunting for more. And it's no grisly animal thirsting for blood—but malnutrition killing weak, defenceless children.
Barely four years shy of the 21st century and just a four-hour drive from the thriving Nagpur township, each monsoon sees hundreds of starving children from the Korku tribe keep their date with an untimely death. Unofficial figures claim over 500 children have already died this year. And, over 25,000 malnourished children are crying out for help before they too become victims of this unfortunate and unfailing annual routine.
Though the Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi on Friday ordered a high-level inquiry into the starvation deaths, the move might be too late to change the prevailing situation.
The sorry saga begins with the arrival of incessant rain that makes the already-meagre supply of food and safe...