JAGATSINGHPUR: Supply of poor quality sattu to anganwadi centres has posed a serious health risk to thousands of children and pregnant women in Balikuda area here.
Locals alleged that the sattu supplied by Self Help Groups (SHGs) is of inferior quality and manufactured from pest-infested wheat. Basing on the allegations, a four-member of team of the district consumer protection council visited the production centres in Balikuda and Naugaon area and stumbled upon various irregularities in preparation of the nutrition supplement.
The team found that Sudha Mahasangh and Kalyani SHGs in Balikuda were manufacturing sattu without valid licence from Food Corporation of India (FCI). Though their licence expired in 2017, the SHGs instead of renewing it, were illegally manufacturing the supplement.
During inquiry, the team found that in violation of guidelines, the wheat used in preparation of sattu was stored in wet places and eaten by insects. Moreover, manufacturing and expiry dates as well as ingredients used in preparation of the supplement were not mentioned on the sattu packets.
Besides, the team members came to know that the SHGs were cheating children and pregnant women by packing less amount of sattu than the prescribed weight of the packets.
Sources said employees of the SHGs in connivance with officials of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) are preparing the substandard sattu. Gobind Ojha, a member of the team, said the wheat is not being stored properly. The SHGs have not renewed their weighing machine since the last two years. There is no information about manufacturing and expiry date on Sattu packets. “We have submitted a detailed report to the district administration about our findings and called for an inquiry into the irregularities,” he said.
District Social Welfare Officer Jayanti Behera admitted to the irregularities and said an inquiry will be conducted and action taken against the erring persons accordingly.