Anganwari centres running from dilapidated buildings

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Old 04-Sep-2015
Post Anganwari centres running from dilapidated buildings

A large number of anganwari centres are running from dilapidated and unsafe buildings in Muktsar district, putting the lives of children at risk.
Though the authorities concerned are well aware of the fact, they seem to be least bothered about the situation.
“The district has 842 anganwari centres, out of which 208 are in good condition, 28 are being re-built and rest all are either running from crumbling buildings or declared unsafe,” said Chhinderpal Kaur, district president, All Punjab Anganwari Mulazam Union.
She said in most of the villages, the centres were being run from the rooms provided in panchayat ghars or dharamshalas, which posed a huge risk to the lives of children belonging to poor families. “I have visited a number of anganwari centres in Thandewala, Udekaran and Bhullar villages, which are running from crumbling buildings,” said Chhinderpal Kaur.
The anganwari centres have the basic purpose to provide food and fight malnutrition by providing supplementary nutrition and non-formal pre-school education. Besides, in convergence with public health systems, these centres have to provide immunisation, health check-up and referral services too. An anganwadi worker and a helper are deployed at each centre.
During a visit to various parts of the district, it was found that a majority these centres were running along the roads, village ponds and that too without having any boundary wall. Further, unavailability of potable water is a major problem being faced by these centres. Anganwari workers and helpers said they were fetching water from the houses located nearby.
A child development and project officer (CDPO) said the state government was giving them Rs 200 to get a room for the anganwadi centre in rural area and Rs 700 for urban area, thus they were even unable to get good rented accommodation.
Naresh Kumar, district programme officer, Muktsar, said, “The construction work of 28 anganwari centre buildings is underway in the district. We have got the first installment of funds in this regard and expected to get the second installment soon.”
Notably, the anganwari workers’ unions have time and again raised the issue that the successive state governments had turned a blind eye towards the anganwari centres, alleging that about 90 per cent anganwari centres lacked basic amenities and children attending them had to sustain the vagaries of weather.

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