THARPARKAR - At least seven more children died due to drought in the district of Tharparkar on Monday, taking the death toll to 80 in 48 days.

Four children died due to malnutrition and thirst in different villages of Thar and two kids died in Mithi Hospital. One famine affected child was being taken to Mithi hospital by his parents but he died on his way.

Ambulance services are reportedly very rarely provided for these children, forcing parents to travel long distances to take their children to hospital.

With over 40 children currently under medical assistance in Mithi hospital, several children are in critical condition.

At least 35 children in Dhali are suffering from pneumonia and apathy of the administration has added to the misery.

Dozens of villages in Chachro and Dhali remained devoid of wheat whereas hundreds of wells have dried up whereas inhibitants of Mubarak Rind are deprived of water for the past five days.

People have started evacuating far-flung areas whereas locals of the area hold the feudal lords and political intervention responsible for halting the acquisition of wheat to the poor and affected people.

Earlier, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah had said that deaths of children being reported in Tharparkar are largely on account of maternity related complications and not of hunger or food.

He denied that any child died of hunger or food and it was due to maternity stage problems that caused their deaths subsequently in hospitals.

He confidently said that Mithi district hospital is the best one in the whole region after Karachi and Hyderabad. It is fully equipped and provide all facilities and even patients from Umerkot, Badin and Mirpurkhas reach this hospital, he added.

The Thar desert is facing drought conditions for the last three years. Famine has triggered large scale migration of marginalised groups like Kolhis, Bheels and Meghwars but the first two communities outnumber Meghwars when it comes to migration to barrage areas.

The Chief Minister disclosed that a nutrition programme was being initiated for children in Tharparkar and a project relating to marketing of milk from Thar has finalised in collaboration with the World Bank.