Decentralising food procurement in Odisha

Following the Rs. 700 crore pulses scam in Odisha in January 2011, the State government decided to decentralise the procurement of all the items in the supplementary nutrition programme (SNP) under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and the Mid Day Meal programme in schools, with the exception of rice which is supplied by the Food Corporation of India.

Two years since, the decision has brought colours in the villages. In the Kakringia anganwadi centre (in Kasinipur gram panchayat under Phiringia block) in the tribal-dominated Kandhamal district, about 10 children in the age group of 3-6 years arrive in the morning and stay till noon. In the morning, they receive snacks and have a hot cooked meal for lunch — both following the standard menu developed by the WCD Department.

Asked if they get a stomach full of food at the anganwadi, the senior children nodded in affirmative. They get vegetables and eggs regularly as per norms. The anganwadis are also tasked with providing ‘Take Home Ration’ (THR) for children in six months to three years group, for pregnant and lactating mothers and for severely undernourished children. Damayanti Kahanra, a pregnant woman from Babdingia village under Phiringia block, says she has been getting two packets of ground cereals every month… Read more

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