State seeks increased allocation from Centre to pay rent for anganwadi buildings

The State government has urged the Union government to increase the allocation for paying rent for buildings housing anganwadis from Rs. 750 to Rs. 5,000 a month, N. Muni Reddy, Joint Director (ICDS), Department of Women and Child Development, said here on Saturday.

He was speaking at a public hearing on the status of anganwadis located in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, organised by CIVIC Bangalore.

He said that as a majority of anganwadis in the State were functioning from rented premises, getting a room for Rs. 750 to run an anganwadi was extremely difficult.

The proposal submitted to the Union government also seeks 75 per cent of the funds towards rent from the Centre. The rest would be contributed by the State government.

Mr. Reddy said that the successful implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and addressing the issue of malnourishment in particular would require convergence of departments such as Women and Child Development and Health, and the BBMP.

Ground realities

Explaining the ground realities of anganwadis based on a sample survey carried out in 50 centres in Bangalore, Ramachandra K.V. of CIVIC Bangalore said several anganwadis in the city did not have toilets. Only two of 50 anganwadis had a playground, he pointed out.

Ayesha Begum, volunteer of a non-governmental organisation, alleged that an anganwadi worker on Mysore Road was charging Rs. 100 as admission fee and Rs. 50 a month as fee per child.

Padmapriya, who works with Radioactive, a community radio station, said that on record, the BBMP had identified only five malnourished children out of the 146 children in anganwadis in Sriramapura.

Clifton D’Rozario, advocate and State adviser to the Supreme Court for the Right to Food case, said the health camp conducted by the BBMP to identify malnourished children in December had “no coverage”. He said that all departments should coordinate and conduct meetings every month to review the situation.

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