Singhbhum: Malnutrition and rising unemployment a major challenge for first woman MP

The Avenue Mail | Jamshedpur | May 26, 2019

With malnutrition deaths at West Singhbhum making national headlines, newly elected Singhbhum parliamentary constituency’s first woman MP GeetaKoda has promised to focus on the issue of child deaths. Geeta said that she is aware of the prevailing situation in her constituency and she will work hard to meet the challenge.

Koda has won the seat with 72,155 vote margin from her nearest rival Bharatiya Janata Party’s State president and sitting MP LaxmanGilua. Geeta got 4,31,815 votes while Gilua, got 3,59,660 votes. With this, the constituency got its first woman MP while Congress got its first elected representative after 2004.

According to information nearly 67% children in Singhbhum are underweight, the highest in India. Singhbhum, a predominantly tribal constituency, is perhaps India’s worst performer on child nutrition indicators.

“I am aware of the situation of malnutrition deaths. I promise to work to ensure that health schemes of the Government are properly implemented and people reap benefits of it,” said Geeta. She added that unemployment also needs to be addressed.

Koda’s win is a major boost for Congress as five-term MP and four-term member of legislative assembly (MLA) BagunSumbrui had won Singhbhum seat in 2004. He was the last Congress MP and MLA from the Singhbhum parliamentary segment including six assembly seats. Sumbrui had won Chaibasa assembly constituency in 2000.

Wife of former chief minister MadhuKoda, Geeta (35) had successfully contested the 2009 assembly elections on the ticket of Jai Bharat Samanta Party from Jagannathpur.  She retained her legislature post of the Jagannathpur assembly seat in November 2014 also on the ticket of Jai Bharat Samanta Party.

Incidentally, Geeta joined Congress earlier this year. In 2014, BJP candidate from Singhbhum seat LaxanGilua had defeated his rival and Jai Bharat Samanta Party (JBSP) candidate GeetaKoda by a margin of 87476 votes.

Reiterating that the development of the constituency is her main agenda, Koda noted that water crisis, lack of education and illegal mining are also the key areas on which she will work. She also said that Government policies and procedures should become transparent and fast in order to avoid misutilisation of mines.

For long West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand was known for its abundant forest resources and rich tribal culture. Abundant with iron ores and other minerals, there was nothing that set it apart from other tribal dominated patches of the region. However, things have changed quicker with passage of time. The region is now a throbbing ground of mining operators who have simply revolutionised West Singhhum way beyond recognition.The transformation, however, gave rise to illegal mining that led to environment imbalance in the process and many of ore mafias turned into millionaires. No wonder, the newly elected MP has promised to deliver.

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