BALASORE: The villagers of Matiapada in Balasore district have once again proved the adage “self-help is best help” true. They came together to construct an anganwadi centre after their repeated pleas to the administration failed to yield any response.
The people of Matiapada under Simulia block collected funds of `20,000, bamboos and paddy straws and volunteered manual labour for constructing a thatched house to operate as anganwadi centre. The house with concrete pillars was completed in a month’s time. Now it caters to the needs of nearly 50 children and expectant mothers of the village.
The anganwadi centre was functioning from a Harihat house (a place of worship) for nearly a decade. After it collapsed in 2013 floods, children used to learn their lessons under a banyan tree for the last three years. Repeated pleas to the elected representatives and local administration for a new centre went unheard.
Sarpanch of Jamujhadi Jagabandhu Das said he had written to the Child Development Project officer (CDPO) several times but to no avail. “It is a mini anganwadi centre. When we sought funds, the officials cited delay in completion of big centres due to lack of funds,” he said. The mini anganwadi centre at Matiapada is eligible to get ` five lakh for construction of its concrete structure, he added.
After waiting for three years, the villagers decided to construct it from their own resources instead of leaving children to suffer in extreme climatic condition, said Kamalakanta Barik, a villager.
Block Development Office Rabindra Kumar Sahu has assured them a house in next financial year. “There was crunch of funds. I would try to get a house sanctioned once the budget is allocated for the block,” he said.