Meal Scheme Hit Due to Lockdown
- 11 Apr 2020
- 2 min read
Why in News
Due to Covid-19 lockdown, implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is affected in large pockets across Maharashtra.
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Programme
- The programme provides specific interventions targeted towards the vulnerable groups including children below 6 years and women.
- Under it, anganwadi centres across India serve nutritious meals (hot cooked meals) to children and nursing mothers.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme and provides a package of six services namely supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, nutrition & health education, immunization, health check-up and referral services.
- About 87 lakh children aged up to 6 years are beneficiaries of the scheme,they are served by nearly 90,000 anganwadis.
- Anganwadis are closed due to lockdown and the delivery of Hot Cooked Meals (HCM) has completely halted in some pockets.
- In some areas of the State, beneficiaries are beginning to receive grocery supplies instead of Hot Cooked Meals (HCM). However, there are wide complaints of inadequate supplies.
- Even, the districts where malnutrition is a recurring problem haven't received the grocery material.
- On 31st March, 2020, ICDS Commissionerate ordered that the HCM be replaced by grocery packages.
- Where the material (grocery packages) has arrived there are multiple operational problems.
- In many villages it’s not possible to go door-to-door, houses are far apart.
- It is being said that the government is not providing any additional funds for gloves and masks.
- Beneficiaries are gathering at the anganwadi, which is hampering social distancing.
- Another dilemma is that the grocery packages will most certainly be consumed by the entire household. Women who are pregnant or lactating, could benefit the least as they’re generally the last to eat.