1,260 anganwadi centres have no compound walls

1,260 anganwadi centres have no compound walls

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As many as 1,206 anganwadi centres across Dakshina Kannada district do not have compound walls to prevent encroachers from encroaching on the land. There are 2,104 anganwadi centres in the district and 1,876 among them have own buildings. Only 670 anganwadi centres do not have compound walls.

Without the compound walls, the safety of children is at risk and the anganwadi workers have to toil hard to save the fruit-bearing plants and vegetables cultivated on the available land of the anganwadi centres.

“The compound walls to anganwadi centres and schools were constructed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the past,” said Sheena Shetty, former ombudsman of MGNREGS and Director of Jana Shikshana Trust, an NGO spearheading the campaign for cleanliness, sanitation, and literacy.

Sheena Shetty has written to the commissioner, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, chief secretary and the chief minister seeking permission to make 1,206 anganwadi centres child-friendly by providing basic facilities, including compound walls and to develop gardens through MGNREGS.

Without the compound walls, there is no protection for the garden developed by members of various self-help groups through MGNREGS in those anganwadis, he said.

Sheena Shetty cited an example and said an anganwadi at Beeriga in Bannur Gram Panchayat of Puttur taluk that had created a garden with flowers and horticulture crops including coconut, mango, guava, drumstick, banana and papaya in its premises developed through MGNREGS.

The fruits were consumed by the children of the anganwadi. The anganwadi has also been identified as an information centre for MGNREGS. Many families in the nearby villages have utilised MGNREGS for the development of horticulture farms, cowsheds and open wells. Similarly, an anganwadi in Manavalike village of Perabe Gram Panchayat jurisdiction in Puttur has also developed a garden using MGNREGS. However, the anganwadi worker finds it difficult to protect the garden without a compound wall, Shetty said in the letter.

He said the government should permit construction of compound walls in anganwadis under MGNREGS.

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