Reported by Ranjan Rath
Malkangiri, Dec 8:
Children in over 30 anganwdis of Malkangiri, the most backward district of Odisha, are being deprived of cooked meals at anganwadis owing to lack of funds.
Tthe childrem from Portel, Nilakamberu, Darlakota sectors under Korukonda block of Malkangiri have not been provided cooked food for the past one week.
“We have not received funds for mid-day meals or any assitance to run the anganwadi from the government since last five months. This is leading to reduced attendance at anganwadis,” said an anganwadi worker.
Another associate added, “We haven’t received our own salaries since past eight months. Officials are not able to explain the delay even though we have submitted the required documents wll on time. ”
“At a time when government is not able to spend large amounts of funds allocated to projects such as Jeypore-Ranchi-Vijaywada highway project worth Rs 400 crores and Gurupriya Bridge and airstrip project worth 170 crores, sitting on funds meant for meals tof deprived kids is very unfortunate,” said a local resident.
Speaking to OST, District Welfare Officer, Prativa Kusum Barik said she had visited the schools herself and had issued ‘show cause notice’ to Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) officer officer. “We are taking steps to ensure that arrear dues of these centers are cleared expeditiously,” she said.
It may be mentioned that, mid-day meal scheme was introduced to encourage attendance in schools and anganwadis and enhance nutrition levels of impoverished kids. However, it seems to have failed in this district due to the negligence of the government.