Jajpur: Irregularities in distribution of sattu as take home ration (THR) from Anganwadi centres have posed serious health risk to thousands of children and pregnant women in the district, a report said.
As a result, the THR scheme launched by the state government has gone haywire with no let-up in anemic diseases and malnutrition problems in the district. Many children suffer from malnutrition and anaemic diseases due to lack of nutritious food which retards their physical and mental growth.
The state government supplies sattu as nutritious food since 2011 and spends over Rs 1.40 crore per month for the purpose through 20 self-help groups.
The matter came to the fore after the district social welfare officer (DSWO) Bijaylakshmi Panda issued a show-cause notice to a THR plant owned by Saibaba SHG group over irregularities in sattu distribution in the district.
The DSWO, in his letter-2073 dated-November 4, 2019, asked the group to show-cause as to why disciplinary action will not be taken against them for the irregularities. The show-cause notice has also been issued against the CDPO and other officials for neglecting in their duty.
Earlier, locals have alleged that over 20 Self Help Groups (SHGs) engaged in sattu manufacturing and distribution are involved in irregularities. Sattu supplied by these groups is of inferior quality and manufactured from pest-infested wheat, they alleged.
The irregularities came to fore when the DSWO visited the Kundal and Danda Haripur Anganwadi centres in Barchana under Integrated Child Development Project (ICDS), November 1.
She checked the sattu and found them of sub-standard quality as well as other irregularities in its making. She found yellow coloured sattu packets written in English for a village woman to understand.
This apart, the weight of each packet was mentioned as 2. 125 kg instead of 2.205kg as prescribed.
The packet being given to children for making Halwa had only suji and sugar barring gram flour and oil. The groundnut ladoos were also of inferior quality. The plant authorities also failed to show up proper documents to the DSWO during the enquiry.
Moreover, the packaging and mixing of sattu was being done by others instead of members of SHG groups while the child development project officer and supervisors were found absent during packaging. She found officials were neglecting in their duty.
When contacted, DSWO Panda said the show-cause has been issued on the basis of protocol and action will be taken if the concerned SHG group managing the THR plant fails to reply satisfactorily to the notice.