Mothers’ collective steps up to provide HCM for children

By Suryakant Tripathy, Block Coordinator

Atabira is a tagged village of Sapakata village AWC of Hanumanpur GP which is situated under Kaniha block of Angul district. This tagged village is surrounded by jungle and it is situated 3 km away from Sapakata Anganwadi Centre. A kachcha road is the only connecting road, but this road is also an elephant corridor. At a community awareness meeting, members of APAA came to know that 8 children aged 3-6 years, who were eligible for pre-schooling and Hot Cooked Meal (HCM) service under ICDS, were deprived of it due to inaccessible connectivity. We wanted to find a solution with the help of Anganwadi worker and the community members.

APAA was already facilitating interim solution of HCM in some of the tagged villages of Angul and Pallahara block with the help of Frontline workers and ICDS department. We were regularly visiting the tagged villages and arranging meetings between Self-help groups (SHG) and community members. We have, so far, motivated around 100 SHG groups to take responsibility of cooking and serving HCM to 3-6 years children. We used the same strategy for Atabira tag village. After discussion with Sapakata AWW and getting consent from her for interim arrangement of HCM, we organized another meeting at Atabira.

In that meeting we discussed about the need of HCM consumption for a child. We explained about the menu chart of HCM which is provided through AWC, 6 days per week. We urged the SHG members as well as beneficiary families to select someone from themselves to take responsibility for preparation and distribution of HCM.  It was during that meeting that the beneficiaries’ families decided to do this on rotation basis.

Though in many other tagged villages SHG members were taking responsibility of preparing and serving HCM, but in Atabira, the 8 families of the beneficiaries have taken up this role. Since November 2019, HCM need of Atabira tag village is fulfilled by the joint effort of ICDS, beneficiaries’ families and APAA.