Child Rights Panel Seeks Report on ICDS
-The New Indian Express
BHUBANESWAR: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked Malkangiri district administration to submit a detailed report within 15 days on the allegations of irregularities in implementation of Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) programme in two blocks.
Taking cognisance of a petition filed by Right to Food Campaign, Odisha, the national child rights panel directed the Collector to investigate into the charges.
The petition stated that child rights are being violated in the backward district due to mismanagement of ICDS programme in Korkunda and Khairput blocks depriving hundreds of children of their right to access to food.
A fact-finding team of the organisation had visited both the blocks last year and inspected the anganwadi centres of Gorakhunta gram panchayat under Korukunda block and Mudulipada gram panchayat of Bonda hills under Khairput block. The team checked the documents, interacted with the anganwadi workers and beneficiaries to obtain first-hand information.
The team found that anganwadi centres did not have their own building despite sanctioned funds. The centres were found to be operating in the verandah of the residence of the anganwadi workers.
"Neither meal nor proper pre-school education is being provided to them," convener of Right to Food Campaign Pradip Pradhan said.
As per the report of the team, while at some places the buildings were dilapidated making it impossible for the children to use them, at others the centres were found to be closed. Besides, take-home rations were not provided and the quality of the food was not as specified.
"As per the Supreme Court judgment on Right to Food, each child is entitled to free food in the anganwadi centre. The National Food Security Act, 2013 has also made a provision of free meal for the children. But the tribal children, who are from the vulnerable section of the society, are denied nutritious food in these regions," the petitioner said.
One of the most backward districts of Odisha, Malkangiri has a very high percentage of malnourished children. While tribals account for more than half of the population, rural poverty is above 80 per cent.
The New Indian Express, 19 January, 2015, http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/Child-Rights-Panel-Seeks-Report-on-ICDS/2015/01/19/article2626143.ece