600 Anganwari Centres found closed, 1400 officers absent

Excelsior Correspondent
RAJOURI, May 17: In a major crack down involving 300 Government officials, over 600 Anganwari Centres were found closed and nearly 1400 employees of the ICDS Projects of Social  Welfare Department (SWD) absent from duty, in  district Rajouri today.
The District Administration, Rajouri on the instructions of Deputy Commissioner, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary  today carried out a surprise check of Anganwari Centres across the district except the areas affected by cross-LoC firing in Nowshera division.
The inspection was carried out by SDMs, Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars and even the Girdawars/ Patwaris,  deputed for the task. The inspection started at 10.30 am, however, the officials were stationed  and deployed at respective areas without prior information about inspection.
More than 600 Anganwari Centres (AWCs) in entire district were found closed while thousands of children enrolled in these centres were absent. Around 1400 officials engaged in ICDS projects were absent from duty. The day-long exercise further revealed that many AWCs were closed since last one year and ration had not been supplied to many centres.
In Koteranka, out of 214 AWCs only 84 were found open while 130 were closed. In the AWCs found open, only 82 officials were present while 132 were absent. Likewise only 99 children were present in these centres against 135 absent. Tehsildar Koteranka Mohammad Rafiq inspected 18 AWCs all of which were found closed. SDM Koteranka,   inspected 3 Anganwadi Centres out of which two were reported to be closed since last one year and no nutrition provided to children enrolled.
Tehsildar Manjakote reported that out of 152 AWCs only 39 were found functioning however, only 31 officials were present against staff of more than 80. Out of 501 children enrolled in these centres,  357 were reported to be absent. In Tehsil Siot,  all 25 AWCs were found open,  however, two  officials were absent. In Darhal Tehsil 73 AWCs were found functioning.
In Tryath tehsil four (4) AWCs were reported to be functioning against a total number of 54 centres. Tehsildar  Kalakote reported that 60 out of 64 AWCs were found functioning while 18 officials were reported to be absent.
SDM Kalakote inspected 3 AWCs where out of 64 children only 12 were found present while 4 officials were absent. In Sunderbani 6 officials were found absent while one centre was reported to be closed.  In Tehsil Beripattan one centre was closed while 3 officials were absent.
In Tehsil Rajouri including city area most of the Anganwadi Centres were closed. Presence of children in open centres was less than 25% of overall enrolment. In 7 wards,  26 out of 42 AWCs were found closed.
DC Rajouri, who planned this district wide surprise inspections has asked the SDMs and CDPOs to come up with details of absentees and irregularities in functioning of AWCs for initiating action. He said the district administration will take steps for linking of AWCs with Primary Schools to ensure presence of ICDS officials and avoiding suspected double enrolment of children in AWCs and schools. It will also help in strengthening the pre-school education system in district. Many officials are likely to be placed under suspension after initiating departmental proceedings against them for these grave irregularities, Dr Iqbal said.


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