AHMEDABAD: More than 4,500 'anganwadis' out of the nearly 53,000 such centres in Gujarat do not have drinking water facility while over 5,600 of them are running without toilets, according to state government statistics.
As per the figures tabled in the state Assembly by the government recently, the drinking water facility is not available in 4,505 anganwadis -- government sponsored child and mother care centres -- across Gujarat (as on March 2015).
Besides, about 5,655 anganwadi centres in the state are functioning without toilet facilities, as per the data. The tribal districts of Panchmahal, Mahisagar and Dahod have maximum number of anganwadis which lack the basic facilities.
In Panchmahal/Mahisagar, referred to as a single unit, 1,411 centres are still running without drinking water facility, followed by 939 in Vadodara/Chhota Udepur and 599 in Valsad. Dahod district has the maximum 808 anganwadis not having toilet facility, followed by 586 in Valsad and 562 in Panchmahal/Mahisagar.
Out of the 26 district-units, the data suggested that barring Kutch, all other districts have anganwadis running without toilet facilities. Out of 26 district-units, 10 have centres which do not having drinking water facility.
The drinking water facility was available at all anganwadis in the remaining 16 district units, as per the data tabled in the Assembly recently, in response to a query raised by Congress MLA Tejashreeben Patel during the ongoing Budget session.
Replying to a sub-question on the number of anganwadis which were provided with these requirements during last five years, the state government claimed that more than 30,000 child and mother care centres were given the facility of drinking water in last five years, while toilets were built in over 38,000 centres between 2010-11 and 2014-15.
The remaining centres will be provided these facilities in a phase-wise manner after allocating the required budget, the government said. As per the budget document, there are 53,029 anganwadi centres across Gujarat which cover 45.55 lakh beneficiaries.
The anganwadis run under Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme, which aims at eradicating malnutrition among children in 0-6 years age group and pregnant women. As per the latest socio-economic review tabled in the Assembly, the ICDS scheme in Gujarat was first introduced in Chhota Udepur block way back in 1975.
In this year's budget, presented in the Assembly recently, the state government has alloted Rs 2,325.22 crore for the entire ICDS scheme implementation for 2016-17. Out of this total budget, the government has alloted Rs 92.38 crore for the construction and repair of anganwadis and for setting up other infrastructure facilities, stated the budget document.