Most of the children at 2,401 anganwadi centres in the district are not getting food from last four months.
The workers and helpers at these centres claimed that food grains, wheat and rice, ran out of stock in June and since July the authorities are supplying milk powder only. So they are left with no other option than to serve milk to the students.
A visit to two anganwadi centres revealed that these centres have not received food from the authorities, therefore, children have been instructed to bring food from home.
Only milk is served to the students for breakfast in the morning.
The anganwadi centre at Government Senior Secondary School, Gobind Nagar, with 34 students has not received food grains since July.
The situation is no different at New Prem Nagar anganwadi centre where the workers are found serving milk to students as they have long exhausted the grain stock and are yet to receive fresh supply from the authorities. The centre has strength of 50 students.
Sunita Kumari, whose daughter goes to anganwadi centre at Government Senior Secondary School, Gobind Nagar shared, “I am working as a maid and can’t leave my daughter alone at home, so she goes to the anganwadi centre. I have been sending food for my daughter, as the centre employees have asked all children to bring their own lunchbox.”
When contacted, Ranjit Singh, assistant at women and child development department under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), he stated, “We have no information from any centre that they have run out of food grains and this problem must be in two-three centres only. The bills have already been cleared and if any centre is without grain stock, they will get it by the end of this month.”
President of Anganwadi Mulazam Union, Subhash Rani, said, “In Ludhiana, there are around 1,200 anganwadi centres which have not received funds from the authorities to pay the rent and the building owners have asked the respective centre workers to vacate the rooms. The food grains have exhausted and solid meal has not been served to the students.”
All-round development the aim
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) takes care of all-round developmental needs of the children who are below six years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers in the age group of 15 to 45 through these anganwadi centres. A package of six services- supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-up, referral services, non-formal pre-school education and nutrition and health education is provided under the ICDS. In Ludhiana district, there are 2,401 anganwadi centres, where 4,802 helpers and workers are employed. While the workers are paid Rs 5,000, the helpers get Rs 2,500. The food grains comprises of wheat and rice, from which the helpers make daliya, while panjeeri is bought readymade from the market. Powder milk is provided to the centres, which is served to the students.