Save our lives: Odisha tribal boy writes to PM after encephalitis kills 73

Relatives of a tribal kid who died of Encephalitis grieving near her body at a village in Malkangiri. (HT Photo)

A 10-year-old boy’s wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealing for help after Japanese Encephalitis claimed the lives of 73 children in 505 villages in the tribal-dominated Malkangiri district in Odisha, .

Official sources said that the death toll had mounted to 73. But Malkangiri chief district medical officer Uday Shankar Mishra claimed that 27 children had actually suffered from the disease while others died due to other reasons.


“Save our lives. Many of my friends have died of Japanese fever. You are roaming around the globe. Can’t you come over to our village and see how children are dying here,” Umesh Madhi said in his letter to PM Modi.

Madhi, a student of class four of Polkanda Primary School under Sikapali gram panchayat, described the ordeal of parents who lost their children to Japanese Encephalitis.

“Sir, you are touring different countries. Can’t you come down to our village and see the plight of the people here,” Madi said, adding that the Prime Minister was their last hope.

As many as 505 villages in the tribal dominated Malkangiri have been affected in the Japanese Encephalitis.

Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Nruparaj Sahoo, who is currently in Malkangiri to monitor the situation, said the situation had not improved as much as they had expected it to.

“The situation remains grim even as the district administration has taken all possible measures to check the outbreak,” Sahoo told reporters.