JEYPORE: Eggs have become a headache for anganwadi workers in Koraput district. They have decided to stop provide eggs to women and children at all anganwadi centres from December 1, if the State Government does not revise the price of eggs.
Under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the State Government provides eggs to children and mothers in 3264 anganwadi centres in the district and the Women and Child Welfare Department pays Rs 4.50 per piece of egg. At least 16,000 women and 67,000 children are enlisted under ICDS in anganwadi centres in Koraput district and the beneficiaries are provided eggs twice in a week.
With a view to improve the health and nutritional status of children in the age group of 1 to 6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers, the Special Nutrition Programme was included as one of the most important components of the ICDS in the district. The targeted children mostly belong to the poor families and those living in disadvantaged areas including backward rural areas and tribal areas.
Apparently, the workers are procuring eggs from open market at the price of Rs 5 or Rs 6 per piece. Although they are forced to purchase the eggs on credit, the department has not been paying the additional price incurred by them on time. Protesting this, the anganwadi centres have decided to stop distribution of eggs to the beneficiaries from December 1. The workers alleged that they have no funds to purchase eggs from the open market and under these circumstances, the Government should revise the egg price before December 1.
District Social Welfare Officer, B Kuanr said the anganwadi workers’ union has given the ultimatum over the egg price and demanded payment on time. The issue has been taken up with higher authorities, he said. “The Women and child Welfare Department has sufficient funds for Supplementary Nutrition Programme under ICDS but it has been paying the price that Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs) are quoting,” he said.
Sources said the CDPOs and supervisors of the programmes have not been submitting the exact food supplementary budgets to the department on time.