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An Anganwadi in Bihar, Draws a Sorry Picture Having No Water and Toilets

Anganwadi center in a village in Gaya, Bihar is being run from the neglected building, with no proper drinking water and toilets. 

In Lalu Nagar village, Atri Block of Gaya, Bihar, an Anganwadi center is functioning under the flagship scheme Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS). What makes it a matter of concern is the lack of basic facilities and the poor state of children.  

“The problem is that the Anganwadi center is in dilapidated condition. It is difficult to teach the kids here. We take the kids home when it rains and the water comes in”, said Urmila Kumari, an Anganwadi worker. The center is running in a very old building, with only one room which is accessible to children and Aganwadi helpers. With no facility of drinking water and toilet, it becomes hard for children to stay for long hours, hampering their educational and nutritional development. The Anganwadi center is a center where children below 6 years and all pregnant and lactating women should get supplementary nutrition, either as take-home ration or a hot cooked meal. This is ensured under ICDS, which is now covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. They are also entitled to regular growth monitoring and severe acute malnutrition management.

There are 1,363,300 Anganwadi Centers working in India. The Indian government allocated 163.3 billion rupees for ICDS - Anganwadi Services in the fiscal year 2018-19. Still, there are numerous existing Anganwadi centers that do not have basic facilities despite the funds. For instance, only 68% of the Anganwadi centers have toilet facilities. In Bihar out of 115009 sanctioned AWC, only 99583 is operational according to the Bihar government affidavit. In Bihar, this gap also manifests in the number of cases of malnourished children, which is second-highest (43.9 percent) in India

“There is no drinking water, no toilet. In case a child wants to defecate, we have to send them home. There is no facility of water here, so the kids go home to drink water”, said Sanju Devi, an Anganwadi worker. Poor and inadequate infrastructure is creating many challenges in delivering the ICDS services, like the low attendance of Anganwadi children. 

Support the Anganwadi center in Lalu Nagar village, by calling the Child Development Project Officer of Atri, Bihar, at +91-9431009159, and urge him to take action.


Video by Community Correspondent Amit Kumar 

Article by Grace Jolliffe, a Member of VV Editorial Team.

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