'Even animals don't eat Anganwadi food'

Children dont go to these centres

The food given at Anganwadi centres are worse than what is given to animals, alleged Anganwadi workers at a discussion on ‘Right to Nutrition’ held here on Friday.

“Children usually don’t come to Anganwadi centres in our area because the food is
bad. When we give leftover food to animals outside the shelter, they leave it. Food is not a priority at any of the Anganwadi centres,” said Asha, a worker from Sangham Vihar.

She said the same food is given to children, both boys and girls, in the age group of 0-6 years, and to girls in the 11-18  bracket.

“The food was much better till some years ago. Also, most teachers at the centres don’t come regularly and they ask us to do their work,” added Asha.

No ration cards

Pushpa, member of Bhalaswa Lok Shakti Manch, spoke about ration cards not being made for people belonging to backward communities in Delhi.

“The government’s plan to replace the public distribution system with direct cash transfer into individual accounts under the proposed Food Security Bill did not get any takers from Jahangirpuri, where residents opposed it. We need to sensitise people about their right to food and nutrition,” she said.

According to the proposed cash transfer scheme, Rs 1,000 will be given to each family. It has been put on hold after opposition from residents.

“If a family has five persons, how is it possible for them to survive? The government said that with this amount the poor can educate their children, eat better food and live a better life. If you calculate the average for a family of five persons, it comes to Rs 6 per day for a family,” said Manmohan, an activist from Raghubir Nagar in south Delhi.

Vachan Singh from Ashok Vihar suggested that monitoring committees should be formed to look into the functioning of Anganwadi centres across the city.

“Women who come to the Anganwadi centre in our area usually pinch their nose closebecause they think that our locality stinks,” said Vachan.

“They often don’t work. When we asked the government that women from our community should be selected as teachers and workers at the centre, it did not listen,” he said.

Ashok Bharati, president of National Conference of Dalit Organisations, said they will organise a four-day national conference on issues faced by backward communities. The rally will be held on December 4.

“We will discuss a national plan of action for the next five-year to protect the rights of Dalits, adivasis and minorities,” he said.

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