Himansu Shekhar Rout

The supplementary nutrition programme (SNP) for children and expectant mothers in Anganwadi centres and through mid-day meals across the state has allegedly gone for a toss, as beneficiaries are not being provided the required number of eggs as per the guidelines. The problem has been triggered by a sharp rise in the prices of eggs.

As per reports, the government pays Rs 5 for an egg while its price in the market is anything between Rs 7 and 9 per piece. 

An expectant mother is supposed to be provided a dozen eggs per month while a kid in Anganwadi centre and school is entitled to get five eggs a week. 

It is alleged that due to the price gap of Rs 3 per egg, it is not possible to provide the required number of eggs to children and pregnant women.

Kamala Majhi, an Aganwadi worker in Jharigaon, said, “We have to buy an egg from the market for Rs 8 while the government is paying only Rs 5. If we give the required number of eggs to children and pregnant women, we have to pay an extra Rs 3 from our pocket. Sometimes, we are not able to give eggs to children” 

Jageswar Behera, a teacher of Government High school in Rairangpur of Mayurbhanj district, lamented that the market price of eggs has been on the rise while the government has not raised the grant. More grants should be given for eggs, he suggested.

Snigdhajnali Nanda, president of the Anganwadi Workers’ Association in Bolangir, said that the government should pay more for eggs as its price has gone up.

Balasore Collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde said that the government pays Rs 5.50 per egg for school kids, but they have demanded more grants for eggs. It is upon the government to look into their demands while their complaints have been forwarded to the concerned authorities, he added.