BHUBANESWAR/MALKANGIRI: Creches and spot feeding centres were inaugurated in Rayagada, Kalahandi and Malkangiri districts on the occasion of Utkal Divas on Thursday. The community-based creches for kids aged between three months to six years besides pregnant women and lactating mothers, have been set up under Odisha PVTG Empowerment and Livelihoods Improvement Programme (OPELIP).
The OPELIP has been taken up by Odisha government in partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture Development to improve the living condition and reduce poverty. The programme is being implemented through 17 micro project agencies (MPAs) with facilitation from NGOs for livelihood improvement of 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) residing in 1,125 villages under 89 panchayats of 12 districts.
The programme was initially launched in three districts of Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kalahandi, covering six MPAs. Later, it was extended to nine more districts covering 11 MPAs. "A special initiative focusing on health and nutrition of PVTGs has been initiated by ST and SC Development department with an aim to improve nutritional status of women and children of 13 PVTG communities," said an official.
In Malkangiri, creches have been set up in six villages of Bonda Hill under Khairput block. The facilities have come up in Padeiguda, Mudulipada, Kirsanipada, Badapada-1 and Badapada-2 villages of Mudulipada panchayat.
The kids, pregnant women and lactating mothers will be given chhatua for breakfast, rice, dal and dalma for lunch and ragi for dinner at these facilities, said Khairput block development officer (BDO) Hrudaranjan Sahu.
As many as 13 children and seven lactating mothers were given cooked meals at the centre in Padeiguda village on the day. The number is likely to go up to 100 in the coming days.