Anganwadi Centre in shambles at Manpur

Report by: 
S XAVIER
Port Blair
8 Jan 2017
An Anganwadi Centres in Manpur, South Andaman stands testimony to the official apathy towards the effective implementation of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in the district. Seeing the dilapidated state of Anganwadi, one would not imagine even in the distant dreams to send their children here. For parents of many tiny tots from rural families in the region, the dilapidated structures have remained a perpetual cause of concern. The incomplete building, foundation stone for which was laid by the Member of Parliament, Mr Bishnu Pada Ray in 2004, poses hazard to toddlers who have been forced to bear the sordid summer and rains during the monsoon season since years, according to sources.
A recent visit to the Anganwadi Centre by this correspondent revealed the sorry state of affairs. The partially constructed structure is in a bad shape and can collapse any time. Leakages from multiple spots in the tinned roof forces children to be confined to limited spaces in the centre. Basic amenities like drinking water, poor kitchen facilities and toilets are also missing in the centre. As a result of the quandary, the number of children attending the centres has gone down drastically, reports say.
“The centres have windows, but they are broken. There is a building, but it is in a dilapidated condition. With the temperature soaring to unbearable levels during summer, children are finding it very difficult to play inside the building. A view of the kitchen and other facilities in these premises will shatter also hopes of parents anticipating proper care and nutritious food for their wards. Children and Anganwadi workers turn to the nearby jungles to respond  to nature’s calls. Even the approach footpath to the centre is covered with mosses amplifying the risk of accidents for children and staff.  The centre is run under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, which aims at improving the nutritional and health status of children in the age group of 0-6 years and lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child, but regrettably the condition of the centre defeat the very purpose of the ICDS scheme. Repeated pleas seeking attention of the authorities concerned towards the drawbacks in these centres have fallen into deaf ears as the structures have witnessed no maintenance since the last one year,” say some villagers of Manpur.
According to reports, a delegation of Island Development Organization (IDO) led by Mr B.K.Chauhan, Secretary General, A&N Islands, along with Mr. Harminder Singh, Secretary, Mr. Arockia Raj, District General Secretary, Ms. Deepa, Organizing Secretary, also reviewed the condition of the Anganwadi Centre at Manpur recently. The delegation assured the villagers to take up their concerns with the appropriate authorities in the government.