Receiving correct entitlement: A matter of awareness and local leadership

By Protush Panda, District Manager

Pabitrapur gram panchayat is situated at Pallahara block in Angul district and is 120 km away from the District Headquarters. There are five Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) in five revenue villages in the area.

APAA members had organized meetings in each of these villages not only to generate awareness of the nutrition-related ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) scheme, but to also ascertain the quantity of Take Home Ration being provided. In all villages, there was a common problem related to egg distribution. All the AWCs were providing lesser quantity of eggs as compared to the actual entitlement.

To resolve this issue, we went to meet the Sarpanch, Mr. Guru Charan Garanaik on Aug 27, 2019 and told him that all the five AWCs were distributing less quantity of eggs compared to the ICDS guidelines. The Sarpanch not only appreciated APAA’s effort but he immediately communicated with the CDPO (Child Development Project Officer) and requested her to call for a meeting with the Supervisor and Anganwadi workers (AWWs) of Pabitrapur GP.

The meeting was fixed for September 13 where the AWWs, Supervisor and monitoring committee member including Jaanch and Matru committee memebrs were present. Sarpanch Garanaik also invited APAA members to participate in this meeting.

After this meeting, all AWWs agreed to distribute 12 eggs as part of the Take Home Ration to all the beneficiaries. This shows that just a simple act of leadership from a local leader and awareness on the community’s part can result in entitlements reaching the intended beneficiaries.

To ensure that the AWWs stuck to their promise, Sarpanch Garanaik was present at one of the AWCs during the month of October to monitor the distribution of THR. Jaanch and Matru committee members are also visiting AWCs each month on the THR distribution date.

This is just one of the many examples from the Angul district where involvement of APAA, local leaders, communities and monitoring committee members has ensured that all the ICDS beneficiaries receive their rightful entitlement.       

Not receiving 12 eggs as Take Home Ration was a common grievance across all the villages where APAA worked.

We not only interacted with AWWs and communities but also arranged trainings of JC, MC and PRI members to redress the grievances. We have been able to streamline THR distribution with the help of local leaders like Sarpanch and monitoring committee members. This wave of leadership and awareness has ensured that Sarpanch, ward members and JC/MC members are now present at most of the AWCs on first day of each month to monitor the distribution of THR.