The aim of providing a healthy growth of a child seems one of the major planks of the present day governments. It was keeping this idea in mind that the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) was formulated and termed as among the prestigious scheme with the sole purpose of providing nutritious food to the children between the age of 6–8 years belonging to the BPL segment or in other words the poorest of the poor.
The scheme envisaged that nutritious food was needed to the under-nourished children so that when they grow, they are healthy people capable of doing hard work for the nation and be a support for their families as well.
However, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir all such things take time to actually spread at the ground level. One wonders that how (ICDS) Pulwama has failed to procure various nutritional items for Aganwadi centres of the district for current year.
If officials sources within the department are to be believed the purchase has been put on hold after the case of supplying substandard food items including wheat products, Dalia and Suji was reported.
The delay in purchase has hit Aganwadi centres across the district. Even though in October of 2015 government had constituted an enquiry into alleged irregularities and supplying substandard wheat products of Rajdhani brand to various Aganwadi centres.
Subsequently, the enquiry committee inspected Aganwadi centers and lifted samples from different Aganwadi centers. Around six centres were temporarily closed down after they were found serving children with items unfit for consumption.
However, the enquiry couldn’t probe allegations as the supplies were already consumed.
Importantly, the mid day meal scheme has no paucity of funds. For this scheme the Union Government provides 300 crore rupees annually for the Anganwari Centres through which the scheme is operated in the length and breadth of the State.
But owing to callousness of the functionaries, lack of accountability and total insensitivity to the requirements of the society, the aforementioned amount remains unutilized and the scheme becomes a flop.
The Centre has been allocating funds for the purpose but alas, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) in the State has not been able to run the scheme the way it should have been.
Irregularities in the department vis-a-vis the scheme have surfaced during the last many years and as a result no supplies have been made to the centres for the last two years forcing kids to leave the Anganwari Centres.