|October 6, 2017 at 10:16 am #8080|
Even as parents from poor families in the state leave their children at the care of government-run crèches, which are anganwadis set up under the Integrated Children Development Scheme (ICDS), children here are unsafe due to the deplorable and unhygienic conditions existing in the anganwadis of the state.
In Nachinola, around 17 anganwadi children are forced to sit in a small room which is congested due to huge bags of food grains stored in it. Cooking is also done in the same room. The anganwadi in Nachinola is situated in village panchayat complex, which houses various offices, a garage, shops and a hotel. Sources claim that two rooms were allotted to the Directorate of Women and Child Development as anganwadi.
One room was used as a study room and the other was used for cooking and storage of food grains which are later distributed to pregnant women and mothers of new born babies.
For almost a month, the anganwadi staff and children are forced to operate in a small room which was previously a study room, as the panchayat has taken back the custody of the room which was used for cooking and storage purposes and allegedly handed over the same to a hotel for its expansion.
A local resident Sangita Shirodkar said, “Parents fear to send their children to the anganwadi as cooking is also done in the same room at a very close proximity and even huge bags of food grains are stored in the same room. The safety of our children is at stake.”
Ritesh Kotwale said that he had filed several complaints to various departments and also written to the PMO informing about the sad state of affairs of the anganwadi at Nachinola.
“I have filed complaints to all concerned departments informing about the pathetic state of the anganwadi at Nachinola. I had written a letter to the PMO office and my complaint is forwarded to the state grievances department but no action has been taken till date,” said Kotwale.
He further added, “I had inquired with the anganwadi staff who informed me that the panchayat has assured to construct a new room for the anganwadi.”
Former deputy sarpanch Deepali Madaikar said, “During the last tenure we received an application from a hotel to grant an additional room for extension but the proposal was rejected as our panel did not want to compromise on the safety aspects of children”.
When asked why the allotted room to the anganwadi was taken back by the panchayat, sarpanch Trupti Bandolkar said, “The hotel owner did not have a proper place to function and was throwing all the waste outside causing unhygienic conditions, hence we decided to give him another room for expansion of his hotel”.
“The panchayat is planning to construct a separate room with an attached toilet along with a kitchen for the anganwadi, but no estimates have been prepared as yet,” she said.
Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “Nachinola anganwadi in appalling condition“