An initiative by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to move to Bhopal with a handcart to collect toys and other necessities for Anganwadi children met with huge response on Tuesday night as hundreds articles were submitted by citizens.
The Opposition Congress, however, called the initiative another “event and drama” of the Chief Minister, pointing to the poor state of health and nutrition of children in the state.
Although the CM called on people to hand in used toys and other useful items, people lined up on the side of the road in the area of Ashoka’s garden (where the CM came out with the handcart ), setting up veritable decorative stalls of new toys and items even as Minister Vishvas Sarang, who is the local MP, appeared to oversee the proceedings.
The collection initiative continued for hours as the CM was only able to move slowly due to the huge gathering of people and the large number of items handed over. The Chief Minister collected 10 truckloads of items and donation checks worth around Rs one crore during his initiative.
Chouhan had made announcements about his initiative ahead of time, urging people to support the cause and join in the mission to ensure the health and well-being of the state’s children.
Apart from the general response, Chouhan’s appeal also received responses online with actor Akshay Kumar pledging his support and poet Kumar Vish sending in books and his own literary works for children. Akshay Kumar pledged Rs 1 crore assistance and help to open 50 anganwadis.
Chouhan then tweeted to express his gratitude to people for their support. “I am overwhelmed by the love and support shown by people for the initiative to collect items for anganwadi children. This love and empathy is the power of Madhya Pradesh. I congratulate all my brothers and sisters from the bottom heart for donating toys, clothes and other items. My heart is filled with joy and I am sure this happiness will also reach the hearts of Anganwadi children,” the CM tweeted.
Attempt to flee his responsibilities: Nath
MP Congress leader and former chief minister Kamal Nath has launched a strong attack on the initiative saying that whenever there is an opportunity to shoulder his responsibilities, Chouhan runs away and starts giving himself up. to events and tragedies.
Nath pointed out that the BJP government recently accepted in the State Assembly that the number of malnourished children in the MP was 10,32,166, of which 6,30,090 were severely malnourished. In addition, 42% of children under five were malnourished (according to the National Family Health Survey [NFHS]-4.42% of PD children were stunted and 42.8% were underweight; however, according to NFHS-5, the percentage of stunted and underweight children in the state is 35.7% and 33% respectively). Nath also said that according to the Sample Registration System (SRS) report, 33 out of every 1,000 children born in the state die within 28 days of birth.
“This is the situation in 17 years of BJP rule. Malnutrition is on the rise and MP is leading the country in this regard. The need at the moment is to ensure proper nutritious food for children, to ensure all anganwadi facilities, to develop proper work plans for this, to stop corruption and scams in children’s programs.However, rather than do this, Chouhan ran away and went out into the streets with a handcart to seek support from people, collect old toys and items,” said Nath.
“It is quite shameful that this program was also turned into an event and millions of rupees were spent on publicity when this amount could have been used for the improvement of anganwadi services,” the ex said. -CM.
Anganwadi facilities lack MPs
A recent state profile report by the state Department of Women and Child Development shows that infrastructure and other basic facilities still lag behind in a good percentage of the 97,135 anganwadis and mini-anganwadis in the state.
The report shows that 32,338 anganwadis do not have toilets, while 17,331 do not have drinking water sources. As many as 60,251 anganwadis have no perimeter wall, compromising the safety of children.
The majority of Anganwadis (46,908) depend on hand pumps for their water needs. A total of 5,937 anganwadis are housed in kutcha structures while 11,237 are housed in semi-pucca structures, the report said.
No less than 50,979 do not have medical kits (first aid) and among the kits available, 4,411 are not in working order; medicine kits are not available in 58,283 anganwadis while educational materials are not available in 32,705 anganwadis, hand washing kits are not available in 18,778 anganwadis and of those available, 23,637 were not working not, according to the report.
In addition, 1,309 anganwadi workers and 2,198 anganwadi assistants are vacant in the state.