Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Anganwadi wing state president Achanta Sunitha on Saturday urged the State Food Commission to conduct an enquiry into poor quality food, illness, and death of children in Anganwadi centres in the state.
Sunitha wrote an open letter to State Food Commission member secretary S Dilli Rao, seeking stringent action to ensure proper management of Anganwadi centres.
The TDP leader alleged that stale and cheap quality food material was being supplied to Anganwadi centres. “The staff was giving the same to children due to a lack of an alternative. As a result, children were getting exposed to fatal diseases after eating contaminated food,” she added.
Sunitha told the Food Commission that for two to three months last year, milk was not supplied to Anganwadi children. “In the TDP field level enquiries, it was revealed that a series of incidents of food poisoning and deaths of children took place. Such incidents in quick succession have raised deep concerns among parents and people,” she said.
The TDP leader recalled how a child fell ill and succumbed after eating food and egg at Gullepalle Anganwadi centre in Kuppam municipal limits in Chittoor district. “They tried to rush the child to hospital but he died on the way. Over 15 students took ill after eating contaminated food at Podalakur Anganwadi centre in the Nellore district,” she said.
Sunitha said that over 14 children became ill after taking food at Kuppili Anganwadi at Etcherla in the Srikakulam district. “It was found that a lack of proper government supervision was resulting in such incidents. Contractors were supplying eggs to Anganwadi centres after they were stored for a long time. These eggs were turning stale and causing a life threat to the children.” she claimed.
The TDP leader pointed out that milk supply was not given to Anganwadi children for two months last year. “It was because dues worth Rs 130 crore were not paid to the Karnataka milk federation. The present government totally neglected full meals, gorumudda, giri gorumuddalu, food basket, and other such programmes as they were introduced during the TDP regime,” she said.
Expressing serious concern, Sunitha said that the TDP had already given a memorandum to the woman and child welfare department officials on the alarming situation in Anganwadis. “If these officials kept a close watch on the activities there, the situation would certainly improve,” she remarked.
The TDP leader stressed the need for the recently formed food commission to take steps for ensuring the supply of healthy food and better conditions for Anganwadi children. “The respective departments should hold district-level inquiries into the untoward incidents at Anganwadi centres,” she demanded.