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J-K: Inspection finds half of Rajouri’s 1,200 anganwadi centres shut

The inspection found a number of the centres had been shut for nearly a year but monthly salaries — Rs 3,600 for an anganwadi worker and Rs 1,850 for a helper — were being drawn regularly.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
May 23, 2017 4:25:12 am
Pakistan ceasefire violation, LoC firing, Jammu Rajouri firing, Rajouri schools shut indefinitely, India-Pakistan, India-Pakistan tension, indian express news The surprise inspection last Wednesday covered over 1,200 anganwadi centres across Rajouri district, barring those in Nowshera and Qilla Darhal tehsils. (Source: Google map)

A recent inspection in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, found 50 per cent of the anganwadi centres in the district shut. These centres are run under the centrally sponsored Integrated Child Development Scheme.

The inspection found a number of the centres had been shut for nearly a year but monthly salaries — Rs 3,600 for an anganwadi worker and Rs 1,850 for a helper — were being drawn regularly. At many places, anganwadi centres and state government-run schools were found with the same children registered on their rolls, indicating rations were being drawn under both the ICDS and Sarb Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), sources said.

The surprise inspection last Wednesday covered over 1,200 anganwadi centres across Rajouri district, barring those in Nowshera and Qilla Darhal tehsils. A total 1,672 such centres are operational across the border district. Rajouri deputy commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said the inspection found 600 of the 1,200 centres closed. Nearly 1,400 anganwadi workers and helpers engaged for running these centres were found absent, he said, adding that nutritious rations had not been provided to students enrolled at a number of these centres for nearly an year.

In Kotranka tehsil, 130 of 214 anganwadi centres were found closed, with only 82 officials found present at the remaining 84 centres. Under ICDS norms, each centre has a worker and a helper, apart from a supervisor for every 25 centres with a minimum salary of nearly Rs 30,000 per month.

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In Majakote tehsil, only 39 of 152 centres were found open. Out of 501 children enrolled at these centres, 357 were found absent, district administration sources said.

All 25 centres in Siot tehsil and 60 of 64 in Kalakote were found open, but only four of the 54 centres in Tryath tehsil were open. In Rajouri tehsil including the district headquarters, most of the 42 anganwadi centres were found closed. Those found open were running with less than 25 per cent of their enrolled children.

Rajouri district programme officer, ICDS, Nazir Ahmed Sheikh said the teams arrived after anganwadi centres’ hours and hence found many closed. Children are present at centres from 8 am to 12.30 pm; thereafter, anganwadi workers and helpers update their records before making field visits, he said. He said the inspection teams reached most of the places around 1 pm and found the centres shut as the staff had either gone on field visits or to district headquarters for lifting rations or getting Aadhaar card linkages done with banks.

About the inspection teams’ finding that nutritious rations were not being distributed, he said, “Against our total annual allocation of Rs 15-16 crore for registered beneficiaries in the district, we get only Rs 3-4 crore, which is sufficient only for providing nutrition to children for one quarter of the year.”

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