Mathru Poorna: Women refuse to have food cooked by SC/STs

Beneficiaries keep away from 350 centres with SC/ST workers

Mathru Poorna: Women refuse to have food cooked by SC/STs

The deep-rooted caste system in society may severly hit the successful implemenation of the newly launched “Mathru Poorna” scheme.

Under the scheme, anganwadi workers have to cook and serve nutritious food to pregnant and lactating women at anganwadi centres.

Of the 1,961 anganwadi centres in Chikkaballapur district, the beneficiaries of “Mathru Poorna” at more than 350 anganwadi centres are keeping away from the centres as food is cooked by those belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.

So much so that there are no takers for food prepared at such anganwadi centres and the food is being thrown away. Ultimately, anganwadi workers have stopped preparing food.

Of the total anganwadi workers in the district, 365 are SCs and 343 are STs. A handful of beneficiaries of the Mathru Poorna scheme are coming to have food at anganwadi centres where food is cooked by workers from ‘General category.’

But, it is almost zero at centres with SC/ST workers, it is said.

However, the benefeciaires are not citing caste factor for not availing of the scheme. Instead, they are giving some lame excuses and insisting on distribution of a bag containing nutritious food, as was done earlier.

“We have identified 15 beneficiaries under our anganwadi centre. My assistant and I are both Dalits. Hence, none of the beneficiaries are coming to the anganwadi centre to have food. We prepare food, wait till evening, show it to the gram panchayat members before throwing it away,” said Renuka, a worker at Chikkakadegenahalli anganwadi centre in Chikkaballapur.

There are 22 beneficiaries under two anganwadi centres in Srirampura. The assistants at both these centres are Dalits.

The beneficiaries are not coming to the centre for having food, despite the workers going to their houses and convincing them.

Chandrashekhar, a resident of Srirampura, said that on October 2, when the scheme was launched, food was got cooked by a woman from the Vokkaliga community.

“All those who attend the inaugural had food that day. But, no one came the next day. The beneficiaries are refusing to have food even if cooked by women from general category,” he said.

Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers’ Federation taluk president P S Gayathridevi said the Women and Child Development department had introduced an “unscientific” scheme, drifting away from the objectives of the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

She said days are not far when the anganwadi centers would become canteens, if the same situation is allowed to continue.

DH News Service

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