There is an anganwadi (child care centre) In ward number 43 of Bhubhaneshwar Block, Odisha that runs on the porch of the local primary school. What started as a makeshift arrangement has turned into a long drawn out process and has left the anganwadi worker as well as parents annoyed and frustrated with the lack of infrastructure. Community Correspondent Nitu Chakia reports from the school. When Mamata Das was handed over the centre, she knew she would have to make to with the small porch area of the school. So she started her work of teaching kids between ages three to six, hoping that in time there would be a dedicated building for her to work out of. This is mandatory under the Integrated Child Development Scheme. In 2013, the Women and Child Development Department worked out how labour from the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) could be employed to build anganwadis across Odisha. A detailed floor plan of model anganwadis has also been helpfully laid out under this plan and a budget of INR 5 lakhs allotted to each building to be constructed. Why has this plan not reached Mamta Das' anganwadi? "There are a lot of problems. Particularly on rainy days, the children cannot come to school... there is water logging. The children get wet, so I cannot take any classes on rainy days. If we had our own centre, it would be much better" says Mamta. The concerned parents have also been doing their own bit to make sure their children get a safe space for their primary education. "All of us villagers met to try for (to make) our own centre. We approached the government too, but there has been no support yet. We went to Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation (BMC) , but nobody has helped us about the anganwadi. The little children are walking through the mud. Everyone including the Mayor (of BMC) has seen this" explains a parent. Now, it is your chance to help. You can make a phone call and get these kids the centre they need! Call to Action: Please call the Child Development Programme Officer, on +91- 9437603418 and pressurize him to take action so that Mamata Das can teach properly and the children can get a chance to study well.
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