Submission of demands to NCPCR on their visit for Public
Hearing on Malnutrition to Majhgawan on 10th Feb. 2009
organised by Adiwasi Adhikar Manch, Right to Food Campaign
and Madhya Pradesh Lok Sangarsh Saajha Manch
- Each and every Anganwadi Centre should provide hot cooked meal based on locally produced and procured food grain. Community involvement should be ensured in procurement of grain along with its monitoring.
- In present context, the Anganwadi centre is largely viewed as a centre that provides Dalia, panjri to adivasi, dalit and other poor children. However, it is universally implemented programme that suppose to address the health, nutrition and pre-school needs of children below the age of six. It is, in fact, the only government programme that addresses the rights and needs of this age group. Anganwadi centre should open at least for 4-5 hours.Anganwadi centre to make sure that along with nutritional services, it will give full attention to 6 other essential services:a. Immunizationb. Growth Monitoringc. Referral servicesd. Health check-upE. Pre-school educationf. Health & Nutritional Education
- It has been found that most hamlet and small villages have no Anganwadi centre and children are being denied of their basic rights and entitlement. In fact, in such illage/hamlet are most neglected by government institutions and child situation are more acute and child survival are under stake.
- We also suggest that each and every Tribal and Dalit hamlet should have a fully operational and functional anganwadi center, even if it has less then 40 children on record. The tension should be very clear, as most of the SAM children or malnunitirion deaths being registered among these most marginalized communities.
- There are no growth registres in many of the anganwadi centers, it has to be made sure that all the anganwadi centers have Growth charts / registers in place and growth monitoring is done regularly.
- In fact it alarming also that thousands of Anganwadi centers have no salter / weighing scale, these equipments should be made availadle immediately. The unavailability of medicine kits for last 2 years in all the AWC s in MP is a matter of concerns, this case should be resolved by providing medicine kits on time.
- In present functional system of ICDS, there is one Anganwadi and one helper per centre. Keeping in view of nos of children in villages, service required and workload, we demand provision of 2 Anganwadi workers and 2 helpers per Anganwadi centre under ICDS.
- Effective functioning of Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) is ad-hoc responsibility of Health Department and therefore, there should be inbuilt mechanism in Health department for NRC. There should be proper provisions of bed, toilets, toys for children, trained and sufficient staffs. A separate financial mechanism for NRC should be ensured. Blood availability for NRC should also be ensured.
- We find that health department has not been able to discharge its duty effectively and efficiently. The dismal functioning of Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) is glairing example of such negligence and inefficiency. Apart from this, there is complete lack of coordination amongst Health Department, Women and Child Deppt, ICDS, Anganwadi centre, Panchayati Raj Institutions and Social Welfare department. We demand proper coordination amongst these departments along with fixed accountability.
- In Madhya Pradesh, there is lacklustre environment of Anganwadi centre which failed to draw children interest to attend centre and access available benefit. Therefore, Anganwadi centre should be attractive having enabling environment (including playground, toy for recreational activities, chart, pictures etc) for children.
- It is badly needed that a proper and sincere door-to-door survey for identifying SAM children is conducted on priority basis and all identified children should be treated as Children in emergency by the Health and WCD administarction. Anganwadi workers have to play a vital role to ensure smooth, effective and efficient functioning of the centre and above all ensure child rights. However, we find that, most workers do not possess required information and knowledge to discharge their duty properly. Therefore, capacity building of Anganwadi workers on nutritional services, procurement, preservation of food grains and preparation of food items and promotion of community involvement is immediately required.
- The State government is indirectly employing private contractors/ companies to procure food for ICDS centre which is complete violation of the Supreme Court Directives. We demand complete ban on engaging g private contractors or companies in procurement of food item. MP State Agro Corporation should be kept out of procurement and supply of food items to ICDS.
- All information regarding malnourished/ Severe Acute Malnourished children should be put in every village Anganwadi centre and other public domain. The information should be updated regularly. In Anganwadi centre, the concern worker should either write in a chart paper or blackboard to keep the community informed regarding the scenario of malnutrition.
- We find that almost all existing Anganwadi Workers belong to upper caste groups. Adivasi & Dalit community has not been given priorities in selection of Anganwadi workers. Consequently, adivasi & dalit children are unable to access facilities under ICDS due to caste dominance and discrimination. Therefore, we demand appointment of adivasi and dalit workers in Anganwadi centres. To ensure affirmative action, education should not be taken as sole criteria for selection of workers from adivasi and dalit community. Capacity and skill of these workers should be enhanced through imparting necessary training.Household food security has direct link with the issue of malnutrition. Therefore,we demand 200 guaranteed employment days under NREGA with timely payment of wages for families of malnourished children should be ensured with fixed accountability.
- There must be joint accountability of Women and Child Development Dept, Food and Civil Supply dept and Health department. Malnutrition issues should not be viewed as sole responsibility of Women and Child Development department.
- We demand half yearly review of ICDS services through PRIs by conducting Social Audit and it should be compulsory.
- Anganwadi centre should be converted to crèche/ day-care centre to ensure children’s access to ICDS facilities.
- There should be capacity building provision for Anganwadi workers and helpers to promote breast feeding and early child care.
- Presently, PDS card holders are receiving only 20 kg of ration instead of 35 kg. Thisamount is inadequate to meet the average food requirement of a household. We demand 35 kg of food grain for each PDS card holder to ensure their minimum food rights.MPLSSM