Eatery smoke, toilet stench suffocate kids in Tiruchy anganwadi

As a result, the children at the anganwadi are exposed to the heat and the smell from its kitchens, say parents.
The anganwadi centre at Pookkollai Street cornered by eateries
The anganwadi centre at Pookkollai Street cornered by eateries(Photo | Express)

TIRUCHY: Parents sending their children to the anganwadi centre at Pookkollai Street in Varaganeri bemoan the risks the latter are exposed to from the eateries and the public toilet that teem for space in front of it. Another child care centre located nearby also suffers a similar plight as parents point to the construction material piled up right before its entrance for proof.

While around 20 children from localities such as Alanganathapuram and Palpannai are cared for at the anganwadi centre in Pookkollai Street which was established in 2017, several food joints have come up since then to now eat into the space leading to its entrance.

As a result, the children at the anganwadi are exposed to the heat and the smell from its kitchens, say parents. They also point out the public toilet for women behind the centre and complain of their children having to bear the stench from there. The garbage strewn nearby also attracts insects and even snakes, they add.

A 35-year-old mother of a child who is enrolled at the centre said, “Children are at risk the most from the kitchen heat and insect movement around the centre. Even after we drop our children off at the centre and return home, we are not at peace. The centre always appears smoky as cooking takes place in the outside kitchens for more than eight hours. Children at the centre cry daily over eye irritation.”

Another parent said, “Out of the two public toilets outside the centre, one is completely damaged, posing a threat to the anganwadi children. Every day children have to inhale the stench, exposing them to various health risks.”

Similarly, another centre at Jinnathidal Muslim Street caring for an equal number of children struggles for space, say parents. Besides construction material like bricks stacked in front of it, vehicles like autorickshaws park precariously close, they add. When contacted, ICDS Project Officer M Nithya told TNIE, “I will inspect both the centres on Monday and take necessary action.”

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