Poor response to Mathrupoorna scheme in Udupi

The Mathrupoorna scheme, introduced to provide nutritious food to pregnant women, has received lukewarm response in Udupi district.

Many of the beneficiaries have already given in writing that they cannot visit the anganwadi centres daily for the afternoon meal and have appealed to continue the old system of supplying nutritious food once in a month.

As beneficiaries fail to reach out to the anganwadi centres, the workers in anganwadi have stopped preparing meals.

In Kadegaru anganwadi, 11 pregnant women and 8 lactating women have registered under the scheme. They had food only on the inaugural day of the scheme. While in Kannarpady anganwagi, four pregnant women and three lactating women had registered. None are having the meals in the anganwadi centre. The situation is no different at Ajjarakadu anganwadi centre. None are having nutritious meals in the afternoon.

On the day of the scheme's launching, the beneficiary women were forcibly asked to come. Bowing to pressure, they had come to the anganwadi centre. Later, none have turned their face to the centre,” said an anganwadi worker. The scheme aims to provide nutritious, free meal for pregnant and lactating women from poor families in rural areas. The meal which includes rice, dal, sambar, pulses, groundnut-jaggery and green vegetables are prepared on the basis of the nutrition index.

The scheme is being implemented with an intention to check child mortality rate, child malnutrition and to improve maternal health.

“In the past, the nutritious food for a month was given to the beneficiaries. As a result, all the beneficiaries were collecting it. Now, none are ready to come to the anagnawdi centre to have meals. It is difficult to travel 1-km daily to anganwadi centre to have meals in the afternoon,” said an anganwadi assistant.

However, the Women and Child Development department deputy director Gracy Gonsalves said “the scheme is just launched. We are yet to get details on how many beneficiaries are visiting the centre. There is good response in Brahmavar. I will visit all the anganwadi centres to know the ground reality.”

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