Maharashtra: Anganwadi Workers Continue To Strike, Parents and Children Suffer
Anganwadi workers have been on strike across the entire state of Maharashtra since September 11th, and this, of late, has started bothering the parents of children who rely on these anganwadis for their daily meals. The children have now resumed eating home-cooked meals and are even resorting to cheap, junk food.
There are close to 2.5 lakh children less than 6 years of age who are registered with anganwadis
- Close to 2.5 lakh children, aged less than 6, registered with anganwadis
- 2,251 severely underweight, no. of moderately underweight 43,383
- Workers on strike since 11 Sept, to continue strike until demands met
As per data from the Integrated Child Development System (ICDS), there are 2.5 lakh children aged less than six years who are registered with the anganwadis. Out of these, 2,251 are severely underweight while the number of moderately underweight children is as high as 43,383.
In Mankhurd alone, there are 220 severely underweight and 2,423 moderately underweight children.
Although the anganwadi workers had distributed some stocks of take home ration (THR) to the parents of children associated with the anganwadis, but they say that these food stocks are of very poor quality and smell bad, therefore they avoid using them.
Now with locked down anganwadis and mothers reluctant to use the poor-quality THR rations, the risk of children catching monsoon-induced infections, malaria, typhoid, gastroenteritis is on the rise.
The situation is similar in other localities of Mumbai as well.
In Goregaon East, there are around 2,728 undernourished children.
According to Shubha Shamim, secretary of the Maharashtra State Anganwadi Workers' Action Committee, the workers will continue to strike until their demands are met by the government.