“There is a toilet within the Anganwadi, but it is not fit for use.”
The neglect faced by Moreng Uraav Ttoli Anganwadi Centre, which is considered as a model Anganwadi (courtyard shelter) centre in Gumli district of Jharkhand doesn’t just end at dysfunctional toilets.
This model Anganwadi, which has 35 children enrolled, lacks basic amenities including water. There is a toilet which has not been functioning since day one of its construction. The water supply is irregular which forces the caretakers to fetch drinking water from a well. During summer this well dries up and during the rainy season, the water in it is muddy.
The centre has a weighing machine, but it has been broken for over one and a half years. Great care is taken to ensure that the children are given nutritious food along with good education in this centre. However, the fact that they have to buy supplies from outside shops at twice the government rates leaves the caretakers at a position where they can’t feed the children enough food. Added to all these difficulties is the unhygienic conditions under which the children have to defecate out in open.
This neglect happens despite the fact that as per government regulations, Anganwadis are to be provided with funds for meeting the running expenses which include Pre- School Education Kits and Medicine Kits, utensils and furniture including weighing scale under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). It is also to be noted that in 2004, following reports of corruption, the Supreme Court of India gave several orders for removal of contractors for the supply of hot cooked meals and take-home rations under ICDS as per a report on Scroll. But the situation has not changed even after eight years of Supreme Court’s intervention, as Press Information Bureau shows that, 33 complaints regarding irregularities in distribution of Supplementary Nutrition under ICDS have been received, including 2 from Jharkhand in 2012.This makes it a matter of grave concern, as in Jharkhand, Anganwadi centres play a crucial role due to the high rate of malnutrition in the state, particularly among the tribe groups.
Hence Community Correspondent Shanti is urging all viewers to appeal to the concerned authority, Child Development Project Officer (CPDO) Kusum Dokeria on 9546774005 to intervene and take immediate action to improve this situation.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Shanti Baraik
Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.