NITI-Aayog report lays bare picture of cynical neglect and mismagement
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 10: Shoddy infrastructure, cramped spaces, idequate lighting, poor drinking water facilities --- the litany of woes at most anganwadi centres in Assam seems endless.
In its latest report, the NITI Aayog has laid bare a damning picture of utter mockery being made out of a Central flagship scheme in the State. Out of 30 anganwadi centers (AWCs) surveyed, seven did not have adequate space. Eighteen AWCs did not have any drinking water facilities.
Records were not maintained in nine of the AWCs, while most are functioning from rented accommodations.
Doctor's visits were recorded in only five AWCs, and in only one, the surveyors found intervention for malnourished children.
There are 62,153 AWCs in the State where 18 lakh children are enrolled.
Started in 1975 as a project to improve the nutritiol and health status of children below the age of six years, the AWCs were launched under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) project.
The AWCs are operated by the State's Social Welfare department.
Maged by Anganwadi workers, the centers are mandated to provide basic child and mother care, catering to children below the age of 6. These centers are supposed to provide outreach services to poor families in need of immunization, healthy food, clean water, clean toilets and a learning environment for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Similar services are also sought to be provided to expecting and nursing mothers.
But in Assam, most AWCs are pictures of cynical neglect and mismagement.