Odishatv Bureau

Mayurbhanj/Puri: Anganwadi centres, set up by the government, to address the issues of mothers and kids in rural and urban areas, have remained far from achieving their objective. Deprived of basic facilities, the centres have been plagued by infrastructural problems besides failing in providing facilities like food to the target groups.

An exclusive report by OTV has exposed the condition of several Anganwadi Kendras across the state.

Opened almost 20 years ago, the Anganwadi Kendra of Thakurabadi village under Bahalada block in Mayurbhanj district is yet to have its own building under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme and is functioning from a garage.

The Anganwadi workers are using their own garage to take care of the children. Even the food the kids are given is prepared by the workers in their homes.

“We are doing what we can do to provide nutrition to the kids, all from this garage we have,” stated an Anganwadi worker.

Asked, Bahalada supervisor ICDS Sakro Hansda said the building work is pending due to lack of any government land in the village.

"The Anganwadi centre was sanctioned in 2014- 15 under the MGNREGA scheme. However, it has not been possible yet to even start a building as there in no government land here. After a meeting with the villagers, we shot a letter to the Tehsildar regarding demarcation of government land," said the supervisor.

Similarly, one Anganwadi Kendra at the Gurubai village in Nuapada Panchayat under Krushnaprasad block of Puri district is reportedly working on the premises of a temple due to unavailability of a permanent Kendra in the village.

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This apart, the people of Harijan Street here have alleged their kids getting egg and Sattu only once a month citing negligence on part of administration and Anganwadi workers. They further alleged discrimination towards their children.

“Once I asked the teachers why they refused to teach our children. But it was harsh to hear them say that our children are not allowed inside,” said Nabani Nayak, a villager belonging to the SC community.

However, refuting such discriminatory allegations, CDPO Krushnaprasad block Manorama Debi said, “I joined much after Anganwadi Kendra started functioning. Still in these two years, I haven’t seen any such discrimination by our Anganwadi workers or by the village committee.”