Anganwadi centre closed for the past year

Children accommodated in the cramped pre-nursery school at Kerasamangala village

The lone anganwadi centre in Kerasamangala village, of Nangali gram panchayat, has been closed for more than a year for want of a better building.

Although the Child Development Project Office authorities have expressed their desire to repair the anganwadi building, the intentions have been unrealised.

As many as 75 children had attend the anganwadi centre in the remote village of Kerasamangala. The village itself is bereft of basic amenities. When it was operational, the anganwadi centre had been based at a building on the outskirts of the village, which was owned by the gram panchayat.

Even before its closure, the anganwadi building was surrounded by shrubs on all the sides. Snakes and scorpions were common on the grounds, but alarm spread after a snake was spotted inside the building. Fearing for their safety, parents stopped sending their children to the anganwadi. The centre was initially closed for a few days — a state of affairs which has continued to today.

The authorities planned to move the centre at the government lower primary school. But the school, which contains only two classrooms is insufficient for the needs of its own students.

With a mind to house the anganwadi, however, the school authorities agreed to accomodate the centre on their grounds — a situation which has continued.

Unsafe

The staff at the school have categorised the old anganwadi building as being unsafe for children.

“Looking after children does not imply confining them to rooms. We have ensure their safety also.

The old building was not suitable for children. Any untoward incident will bring a bad name to the anganwadi and the village. Hence we decided to shift the anganwadi to the school building,” said Papamma, a member of the cooking staff attached to the anganwadi centre.

Venkataram, the president of School Development and Management Committee claimed that the Women and Child Development Department had been frequently requested to renovate the old anganwadi building.

“The authorities who conducted the inspection once and promised to do what was necessary to fix the building have not turned up since,” he said.

While the government has been making tall claims about spending huge sums of money for education, the anganwadi centre continues to languish in official apathy, he added.

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