Vennela, a two-year-old girl in Andhra Pradesh, died on Sunday after she ate mud due to extreme starvation. Her aunt had not fed her because of her alcohol addiction.
Nagamma and her husband, both daily wage labourers, also lost a son six months ago due to the same reason. She had moved to Kadiri in Andhra Pradesh around 10 years ago with her husband, mother, their five children and her niece Vennela.
Kadiri Rural's inspector A Ismail told The News Minute that Nagamani, her husband and mother are alcoholics and fail to feed the children on a daily basis. Nagamani's three-year-old son had also died after eating mud due to severe hunger. The bodies of both the children have been buried very close to the family's makeshift home in Kadiri. The family also lost another child one year ago due to ill-health and malnutrition.
Mahesh, Nagamani's husband is currently missing and the authorities are on the lookout for him.
"We still have not been able to trace the father. The children used to live with the grandmother as the mother was out most times. Our ANMs (Auxiliary nurse midwives) had given them vaccinations but should have taken a comprehensive approach to avoid this. No postmortem was done but we can conclude it's a case of malnutrition due to hunger," Anil Kumar, the District Medical and Health Officer KVNS was quoted as saying by TNM.
The report states that the family did not have Aadhaar cards, which are required to procure food from the local Anganwadi. In addition to this, the mother and the grandmother did not cook regularly and did not give the children the required care.
An inquiry was conducted by Kadiri Revenue Divisional Officer T Ajaya Kumar. Speaking of Vennela's death, the incident report read, "This baby was also utterly neglected by Nagamani and her mother. Subsequently, the baby's health deteriorated in a few days and even in that condition also, neither Nagamani nor her mother informed the local ANM or Health Worker or took the baby to the local hospital for immediate medical treatment."
The three remaining children in the family have been shifted to a local Anganwadi centre where they are being taken care of. Nagamani and her mother have been taken to a de-addiction centre and after their treatment, they will face the criminal charges revolving around the deaths of the two children.