VIJAYAWADA: Though the State government is claiming to have reduced child mortality rate and malnutrition among children at Anganwadi centres, the rural child care facilities in Krishna district have a different story to tell.
In raids by Vigilance and Enforcement Department at Anganwadi centres in the district on Thursday, it was found that the funds meant for pregnant women and children were being misused. The Anganwadi centres, which were started as part of the Integrated Child Development Services programme, were involved in corruption and rampant fund misappropriation; officials in-charge of these facilities were also found to be flouting norms set by the ICDS and Women and Child Welfare Department.
Commenting on the issue, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Vijay Paul said: “It is quite obvious that those in-charge at the Anganwadi centres are misusing funds meant for welfare of pregnant women and children. Instead of the sticking to the menu suggested by experts, they are colluding with contractors and supplying poor quality food that will have an adverse impact on pregnant women and their unborn children.”
Also, there are allegations that Anganwadi workers are selling eggs, food products and other materials in open market and, instead, supplying inferior products to lactating mothers. “We have received many complaints in this regard. A detailed investigation will be conducted to prevent corruption and irregularities at the centres,” the official added.
During the raid, the vigilance officials also observed irregularities pertaining to the administrative works of such centres and reported it to the district project director of Women and Child Welfare Department. It was also found that the women were not coming to the centres, but were getting ration sent to their homes.
They said they were not able to eat the food at Anganwadi kendras due to its poor quality. A few centres even lacked proper drinking water facility.
“We have requested the department concerned to conduct a transparent inquiry and submit a report to us at the earliest,” the DSP said.