Nutritious food will be provided to mothers who are found to be anaemic

The government has decided to extend the mid-day meal scheme to children and pregnant/lactating mothers at anganwadi centres in the State.

A proposal has been given to provide nutritious food to mothers, who are found to be anaemic, and children, to arrest infant mortality rate. Following a request for the introduction of the scheme at anganwadi centres, the School Education Department advised the Women & Child Welfare Department to extend the duration of these centres daily from 1.30 p.m upto 4 p.m.

The Women & Child Welfare Department, in turn, sought time to make arrangements to pay an extra Rs. 350 and Rs. 150 to anganwadi workers and assistants per month respectively, increasing their take-home pay to Rs. 4,050 and Rs. 2,050.

Once this issue is cleared, modalities to implement the scheme will be worked out, announced V. Sunitha Laxma Reddy, Minister for Welfare of Women, Children, Disabled and Senior Citizens. To start with, the extension would cover only 100 out of 91,307 centres in the State.

Speaking on the issue of beneficiaries in her department at Prajahitham here on Thursday, she said a grace period of seven days or time till the end of the month would be allowed to members of self-help groups to pay the principal amount to claim zero interest benefit on their loans.

Permission has been given for the construction of 466 godowns by self-help groups at a cost of Rs. 332 crore as proposed by them, so that the procurement of foodgrains can be more effective, she said, citing that Rs. 40 crore had been earned by them through procurement so far.

She said the CBI had arrested eight employees in connection with embezzlement of Rs. 26 crore from the AP Women Finance Corporation.

A World Bank-aided project would be taken up to construct buildings for angwanwadi centres lacking this facility.

Over 30,000 persons identified as differently-abled would be provided appliances soon, for which Rs. 13 crore had been earmarked.

The ‘sishu gruhas’, one in each district, would act as nodal agencies for the adoption of children after they were declared orphaned or abandoned.