Many of them are functioning in dilapidated buildings

Many anganwadis in Hassan district are functioning in dilapidated buildings. As some of them don’t have their own buildings, anganwadi workers and helpers are running the centres at their homes and on temple premises.

Of the 2,491 anganwadis in the district, only 1,591 have their own buildings. Twenty-eight are functioning in old gram panchayat buildings, 413 in community halls, 212 in schools, 107 in rented buildings, 32 in temples and the remaining have made other arrangements. Only 1,069 of them have toilets.

Mari Joseph, a human rights activist, said that many centres were even unfit to rear cattle. “It is highly disappointing that the government has not bothered to provide decent buildings for children,” he said. He pointed out that a majority of children who go to anganwadis were from poor families. While the rich send their children to private schools, the poor had no option but to send their children to anganwadis.

H.C. Chidanand, Deputy Director, Women and Child Development, told The Hindu that the construction of 152 anganwadis was at different stages and the district required funds for another 749 anganwadis.

“Funds allocated for anganwadis have been minimal for several years now. It has been difficult to build decent buildings to house anganwadis with the available funds. Now the allocation has been hiked to Rs. 4.5 lakh per centre. The funds that we get from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund can’t be used for those in urban centres. Local bodies have to allocate funds for the construction of anganwadis in urban areas,” he said.

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