Replying to a petition filed in district court seeking to restrain the social welfare board from delivering the food prepared by jail inmates to Anganwadi Centres and creches in Chandigarh, the Model Jail of Burail denied the allegations that the food cooked in jail is unsafe for children. Meanwhile, the Anganwadi kitchen has been proposed to shift outside the jail for which drawings have been approved.
The reply was submitted by the Burail jail Superintendent, Virat and and the IG Prisons Omvir Singh Bishnoi, in the Court of Sanjay, Civil Judge (Junior Divison).
In the reply, it was mentioned that the jail department had started supplying nutritious food to 100 anganwadi centres from April 2017, and two professional cooks were engaged to train the inmates for cooking skills.
The reply further mentions that “…as per the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) the inmates are searched by the concerned warden/head warden before joining the duty in the Anganwadi Rasoi. CCTV cameras have been installed in the Anganwadi Rasoi through a control room where a Warden has been posted to watch the activities of inmates…One CCTV camera has been installed at the loading of food place. The food is checked by the warden/head warden, office incharge, Deputy Superintendent Jail and Senior Medical Officer Jail daily. Further the food is also checked by the Supervisor of the Social Welfare Department who visit the jail daily. Report is recorded in the register with regard to the quality of food cooked and cleanliness of the Anganwadi Rasoi…Food is supplied in the steel container. It is further submitted that a warden is deputed with the food supplying vehicle, for the safety of food and the same is handed over to the concerned Anganwadi worker in each centre…”
As per the reply of jail officials, following report of DSP (Security), the Chandigarh Administration has approved the proposal for the construction of a new building of Anganwadi Rasoi (Mega Kitchen), whose rough estimate cost is Rs 79.69 lakh and which would have all modern facilities.
It has also been submitted by jail officials, that food is also being supplied to 45 creches, for which the rice are fortified before cooking in the machine so as to enhance the nutritious value of rice. “It is true that 2-3 creches of Chandigarh have stopped taking food but another 45 creches are taking food daily”, read the reply.
For the 100 anganwadi and 45 creches, the food and water samples are sent to the Health Department for analysis, while dietician has also been deputed to check the quality of food in a week from GMCH Sector 32, Chandigarh. And the inmates having good conduct inside jail are deployed in the anganwadi rasoi, whereas medical examination of the inmates deployed in anganwadi rasoi is conducted by medical officer of Jail, and the food supplied to the anganwadi centres is liked by the Children as quality of food is ensured, mentioned the reply of Jail officials.
The district court had issued a notice to the IG Prison, Superintendent jail, Director Social Welfare Board, Chandigarh and Ministry of Women and Child Development and asked to reply over a petition filed by Joginder Kumar, a Ramdarbar resident.
In the plea, it was alleged that jail authorities are not supplying proper food to the children and also not adopting the proper midday meal safety measures.