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For anganwadi kids,mothers to cook meals

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to implement the hot cooked meal scheme across anganwadi centres in five districts,aiming to address the problem of malnourishment among children below six years of age.

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to implement the hot cooked meal scheme across anganwadi centres in five districts,aiming to address the problem of malnourishment among children below six years of age.

The government,through the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS),will implement the plan in three blocks each in five districts as a pilot project. ICDS director Devendra Nath Verma said,“We have identified these districts on the basis of the malnutrition index among children. We have already tested the scheme in one block each and from May 1 onwards,it will be extended to three blocks each in all the selected districts.”

Under the scheme,mothers who are members of the matri samitis of each anganwadi centre will be given the task of cooking food for their children,based on the recipe prescribed by the Centre.

The matri samitis are federations of mothers whose children are covered by a particular ICDS centre. Verma said: “So far,the foodgrains for children were either being distributed from the centre or,in extreme cases,being delivered at their doorstep by anganwadi workers. But somehow,it failed to reach the children and was either blackmarketed or was feeding the entire family. Based on the recommendations of the Centre,we have now decided to implement the scheme in the pilot phase.”

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For the pilot phase,the department has chosen three blocks each in the districts of Saharanpur,Mathura,Kushinagar,Jhansi and Sitapur. The mothers of each matri samiti and the anganwadi workers have been trained to cook the meal,which will be given to children between three to six years.

Verma said,“It will be both mothers and anganwadis who would be cooking. With mothers involved,we are assured about the quality of the food. The anganwadis will have to bring the children to the centre and ensure that they are fed well. Since we have already given the task of buying foodgrains to the matri samitis,the quality of the grains will also be good.”

First published on: 07-05-2011 at 02:35:05 am
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