Thousands of quintals of unutilized rice rotting in Pulwama Anganwadi Centers
Pulwama, Sep 24: Thousands of quintals of rice, which continue to remain unutilized from last two years at various Anganwadi Centres across south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, have started rotting with no one paying any attention.
Sources in Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) informed Kashmir Images that thousands of quintals of rice were supplied to Anganwadi centres under wheat based nutrition programme during last two years.
They added that around 3600 quintals of rice were supplied to 1200 Anganwadi centres in Pulwama and each centre received three quintals for making recipe for children.
“Other ingredients required for making the recipe were not supplied and we were asked to stop cooking the rice till these items are received,” they said adding, two years have passed since then but they received no communication from higher authorities regarding utilization of the rice.
An Anganwadi helper from Pulwama said that from last two years she has been sun-drying the rice after every three days to prevent it from getting infested, nevertheless she couldn’t save it from spoiling.
“We have brought the issue into the notice of our immediate officers a number of times but they failed to take any decision and now the rice is unfit for the consumption. It is better for authorities to take it back and destroy it,” the Anganwadi worker said adding that non-availability of nutritional items have impacted work of Centers as the enrolled children have stopped visiting them.
When Kashmir Images brought the issue into the notice of lower rung officers of ICDS they informed that they sought guidance from higher authorities umpteen times. Supporting their claims, the officers showed official correspondence to this reporter wherein programme officer ICDS Pulwama was requested to grant them permission to allow the children to take the items home.
“Since the item rice, available in the anganwadi centres, is perishable and there is every apprehension that it shall perish if not utilized as reported by supervisors. For judicial use of the item there is only provision take home ration left with us as per ICDS guidelines. As such necessary guidance is solicited at your end with regard to take home ratio option for the rice,” reads the official correspondence.
Programme officer ICDS for Pulwama Mohammad Ahsan Mir said that from past one year they have been looking for suitable supplier for supplying them ingredients like edible oil, turmeric powder and pulses required for making recipe of rice.
“We were unable to sign a contract with suitable contractor in this regard and for that reason the rice remained unutilized,” he said adding that now they have signed a contract with a supplier and received the first supply from the contractor and hopefully the rice will be utilized soon.