The second report from the office of the commissioners to the Supreme Court submitted on November 29 reveals the quality of food premixes supplied by contractors in Maharashtra under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) scheme is substandard and below prescribed norms.
The principal adviser of the office of commissioner Biraj Patnaik, who drafted the reports, has said a Special Investigation Team needs to be instituted to investigate the matter.
The previous report tabled in early November pointed out how six contractors with powerful political connections had used front organisations of women to get contracts under the ICDS to provide food supplements to undernourished children and mothers. They did this by getting around a 2004 SC order that said only self-help groups, mahila mandals and village communities be given contracts. HT had also pointed out how the contractors are a politically influential lot.
The current report goes a step further to say how the samples tested by the commissioner’s office and provided by the contractors were not up to the mark.
The results of three samples provided to the National Institute of Nutrition show that the overall micronutrient composition of calories and proteins are almost 30% less than prescribed. The fat content, which should provide at least 30% of the energy in foods for children, ranges as low as 3.63 grams in the premix sample, which should ideally be 6.73 grams for adolescents.