Pradeep Pattanayak

In the hope that their children’s pre-school education will properly be taken care of, parents send their children to Anganwadi centres. What if they find their children are taught not by the teacher but by a cook? 

This is the exact picture of the Anganwadi centre at Baunsapal village in Udala town of Mayurbhanj district. In the absence of an Anganwadi didi, the cook has been managing the show, by donning the teacher’s hat.  

“I am working as an assistant. Since the centre is devoid of its worker, I have to do the duties of a teacher. I am facing some difficulties as I have to play double roles,” said Basanti Mani Soren, the cook of the centre. 

With the centre running without its worker, the imparting of education has been affected. Such a pathetic situation has been prevailing for a year now, forcing the parents to stop sending their children to the centre. 

They alleged they have been drawing the administration’s attention to the pathetic state of the centre but to no avail. This has given rise to resentment among the villagers. 

“The centre is devoid of teacher for a year now. Because of this, our children are suffering. The cook of the centre is cooking as well as teaching the children which is affecting her both jobs,” said Sangeeta Mahakud, a parent. 

“Due to the present condition at the centre, education has badly been affected. The number of students has also declined. We urge the government to appoint a teacher at the centre immediately,” said Jyostna Mallik, another parent. 

When contacted, Udala CDPO Aaladi Marandi said, “We are aware of the situation at the Anganwadi centre. Fresh notification regarding the appointment of a teacher will soon be issued and the problem will be addressed.”


(Reported by Manas Pani from Udala, OTV)