Assam: A tragedy that left more than 30 children orphaned, many visually impaired and too many deaths

Assam: A tragedy that left more than 30 children orphaned, many visually impaired and too many deaths

TNT Desk | March 2, 2019

In one of the worst hooch tragedies in India that took place in the Northeast Indian state of Assam, officials have clarified that the hooch tragedy which killed more than 156 people in the two districts of Golaghat and Jorhat, has also orphaned 38 children. At the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, there are nine other victims who have severe visual impairment, which could result in complete blindness, according to doctors.

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Through the survey, the CWC has found 32 children in Golaghat and Jorhat districts, who have lost their parents after consumption of the spurious liquor. Reports state that 30 children have been left orphaned in Golaghat and Jorhat disticts.

The report revealed that, among the orphans, six are from the same family, who lost both their parents to the tragedy.

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Golaghat district CWC chairperson Dr Lukumoni Goswami said during the ongoing survey, they have found 30 children in the age group between 2-17 years, who lost both their parents.

"We have found 30 orphans, who lost both their parents, from Halmira tea estate and Gulampatti area. We have found them in very pathetic situation. So far two children – a girl and her brother, have been rehabilitated to a Child Care Institution at Bokakhat area," Lukumoni Goswami said.

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Goswami further said that, in most cases, the relatives of the orphans have refused to hand them over to the concerned authorities.

Following the incident, the Assam government announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to cover medical expenses of those who are hospitalised.

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There are also speculations that the relatives of the orphaned children are refusing to hand them over to the officials due to want of the ex gratia amount to the kin of the deceased persons.

"We have already submitted the list of orphans to the district administration," Lukumoni Goswami said.

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Goswami further said that the CWC has taken appropriate measures to ensure that the children are well looked after and decided to open bank accounts in the name of orphaned children.

On the other hand, Assam social welfare minister Pramila Rani Brahma has said that the social welfare department has already directed the administration of Golaghat and Jorhat districts to identify the orphan children, who lost both their parents in the tragic incident.

Featured image courtesy: The Week

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