RDHS confirms 13 hunger deaths, urges officials to act
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 March 2009, 13:59 GMT]
Dr. T. Varatharajah, the regional director of health services in Mullaiththeevu in a letter faxed to the Government Agent of the district has stated that his hospital has received 13 dead bodies of civilians who have died due to starvation. Five victims were identified and one of them was a 17-year-old girl. Dr. Varatharajah provides details of the known victims of the starvation and urges measures to address the predicament. The doctor also says people have begun using unusual substitutes like leaves never used in cooking and named six patients being treated at Maaththa'lan hospital after eating such leaves.
The doctor urged the local authorities to make sure that food items are sold at a fixed rate at suitable and acknowledged localities and to raise awareness among the public on relevant preventive measures to avoid food poisoning and hunger deaths.
Five of the 13 victims who lost their lives due to starvation:
S. Jeyanthini, 17 (female), Ponniah Tharmalingam, 65 (male), Ponnuchamy Ratneswary, 65 (female), Santhanam Visaludchumy, 72 (female) and Arumugam Irasiah, 66 (male).
The members of a family being treated after having unusual leaves in their food:
Sinnathmby Vasanthapalan, 46, (male), Vasanthapalan Pathmadevi, 38 (female), and their children Vasanthapalan Paviththiran, 14 (boy), Vasanthapalan Saththiya, 13 (girl), Vasanthapalan Samarventhan, 08 (boy) and Vasanthapalan Keerthika, 06 (girl).
The letter by Dr. Varatharajan follows: