Anganwadi teachers opposes State government’s pregnant take care order

10:53 AM, Thursday, August 10th, 2017
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AnganavadyMangaluru : Anganwadi teachers and helpers from Dakshina Kannada have opposed the State government asking them to take care of pregnant and lactating mothers under the Matru Poorna scheme being launched on October 2.

The teachers and helpers, under the aegis of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association, staged a protest here on Wednesday against the Government Order.

Association president Vishalakshi said that the anganwadi teachers and helpers are taking care of children aged less than five years in small anganwadi centres. It was impossible for the anganwadi personnel to provide hot nutritious food to pregnant and lactating women in such crammed spaces. “We have clearly told the officials that we are not taking up the new task,” she said.

Ms. Vishalakshi said that the work of handling the young children was a sensitive one that the anganwadi teachers and helpers were doing apart from handling census and other tasks given by the government. The anganwadi teachers and helpers should not be burdened with the care of lactating and pregnant women, which was again a sensitive task. “We struggle for space to cook for children. Where is the space for preparing food for elders?” she asked.

Rajeevi, a helper in an anganwadi centre, said that the workers are not against the scheme but against burdening anganwadi workers with the care of pregnant women. Questioning the way the scheme was being implemented, Ms. Rajeevi said, “How do you expect women to visit Anganwadi centres for food everyday. If they do not come, what should we do with that food,” asked Ms. Rajeevi, while expressing her anguish over irregular payment of honorarium to them.

However, officials from the Department of Women and Child Welfare said that preparations were on in full swing to implement the scheme on October 2 across 2104 anganwadi centres in the district. The State government has provided grants for procuring utensils and gas cylinder for cooking food at anganwadis. While anganwadi workers have expressed their difficulty, Deputy Director of Women and Child Welfare Sundara Poojary has asked the workers to abide by the government’s direction to implement the scheme, a department official said.

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