An inaccessible tagged village demands a mini AWC

By Susanta Pal, Block Coordinator

Even though there are many government schemes in India, they are not able to reach everyone, especially those living in some rural and inaccessible pockets. Betara, tagged village of Patharagarh AWC (Anganwadi Centre) in Angul district of Odisha is one example where many development schemes are not successfully implemented due to inaccessibility.

Betara is a beautiful village which is abundant in natural beauty and is surrounded by dense forests and hills. A 5 km path way is the only way to reach Patharaada village road which is connected to Saradhapur GP of Angul block. One needs to cross three small streams and a very dangerous road (there is soil erosion in many places due to water-flow in rainy days) to reach the village. Also this road is a well-known elephant corridor.

There are 35 households in this this village with a total population of 160. We visited the place in Mat to know the status of ICDS services. We were glad to know that Take Home Ration (THR) beneficiaries were getting their THR from the AWC but poor road connection was an obstacle for them to get timely benefits.

We also realized that 10 children aged 3-6 years were deprived of their Hot Cooked Meal (HCM) which is provided under SNP by AWCs.

After a discussion with the AWW about this issue, the community and the ward members decided to file an application to the CDPO for a mini AWC.

At a subsequent meeting in July, an application was written and signed by the beneficiaries and villagers for a mini AWC at the village. The Sarpanch approved the application and Hardibandhu Behera (Ward Member) as a concerned community leader went to the CDPO, Angul’s office and submitted the application. Another copy of the application was submitted to the District Magistrate and Collector Shri Manoj Kumar Mohanty to expedite this.

The application for the mini AWC is in process. In the meantime, the AWW has ensured that the 10 children from the village who are supposed to get their HCM are receiving their entitlement all six days in a week. A volunteer by the name of Rasmita Padhan cooks the Hot Cooked Meal for the 10 children at the village level so that they don’t have to cross streams and walk far to get their entitlements.