By Kalpanika Tripathy,
District Documentation Officer
This is a story of Bhupriya Mohapatra, a Take Home Ration (THR) beneficiary of Malisahi village, who was eligible to get 4.9 kg of Chhatua powder (a mixture of wheat, gram, peanut and sugar), a packet of peanut ladoo (25 numbers of peanut and jaggery chikki) and 12 eggs each month but she was only getting Suji halwa (not appropriate for her category) and 12 numbers of egg from Malisahi Anganwadi Centres (AWC).
Malisahi is a revenue village of Ogi Gram Panchayat under Chhendipada block of Angul district. This village is situated at a distance of 32 km from the district head quarters and 3 km distance from the AWC. Mandira Sahi is one of the hamlets of Mali Sahi village where more than 300 people are residing. These people belong to OBC category and their main occupation is to serve at Lord Mahadev’s temple (priest).But this occupation is inadequate to avail their day to day requirements, so they depend upon agriculture and vegetable farms to fulfill their basic needs by selling vegetables in the nearest market.
First day of each month is declared for THR distribution and luckily on November 1, 2019, we, a team of 3 members from APAA visited to Malisahi AWC and Mandira Sahi hamlet. When we entered a beneficiary’s house namely Bhupriya Mohapatra, a lactating mother of 3-month-old Surendra Mohapatra, other beneficiaries also came to her house. Hence, we got an opportunity to discuss with beneficiaries about ICDS’s Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) scheme. Meanwhile, Bhupriya’s mother- in- law brought THR of both of her daughter –in- laws which were given that day. There were 24 eggs, one packet chhatua of 4.9 kg, one packet of suji halwa of 1.25 kg and one packets of peanut ladoo. We asked to Bhupriya for her THR. She showed us 12 eggs, one packet suji halwa as her entitlements and 12 numbers of egg, one packet chhatua and one packet of peanut ladoo as her sister- in- law’s THR. The APAA team was surprised after listening her as she was getting one packet suji halwa and 6 eggs after her delivery. Other beneficiaries, who were present said that only from this November they have got 12 eggs, but previously each beneficiary was getting only 6 eggs per month.
A block level APAA member counselled Bhupriya to go to the AWC with a gram panchayat level APAA member and demand her actual entitlement. Immediately Bhupriya went to AWC with the given THR and asked for her entitlement. The APAA member also talked regarding the wrong THR where chhatua packet, 6 numbers of eggs were missing and a suji halwa packet (which was an entitlement for 7 months to 3 year-old category) was given instead of a peanut ladoo packet. AWW said that the helper had given this mistakenly and without any further discussion she changed the suji halwa packet with chhatua and peanut ladoo. Though it is a story of an individual who was not only demanded but also received her nutritional right, it influenced other beneficiaries to take a stand for their nutritional needs. This was a step which not only spread awareness but was an opportunity for APAA members, led by Anganwadi worker, to redress the grievance of a beneficiary, which has helped to achieve the ultimate goal of better nutritional status of mothers and children in Angul district.