Hyderabad: The implementation of the ‘Integrated Child Development Services’ (ICDS) suffered as the State failed to cover the whole targeted population under the scheme despite availability of Central assistance. The department of Women Development, Child Welfare and Disabled Welfare has not complied wit the audit observations included in the Audit Report for the year ended March 31, 1999 and the deficiencies persisted during the five year period 2005-10. Augmentation of anganwadi centres was not given adequate priority. Majority of the Anganwadi centres (67 per cent ) were functioning in rented buildings which lacked basic facilities such as safe drinking water, toilets, non-provision of utensils.
These are some of the observations contained in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended March 31, 2010, copies of which were presented in the Legislative Assembly here today.
The report further pointed out that adolescent girls who were to be covered under Supplementary Nutrition Programme as contemplated by Government of India way back in 2004 were not even identified in the State. Audit also noticed deficiencies such as erratic supply of Ready to Eat (RTE) food/Hot Food Mixes (by AP Foods), supply of substandard/time expired food to children, huge shortfalls in visits of medical Officers to Anganwadi Centres, etc. The objective of ensuring micronutrients in diet as per Recommended Dietary Allowance norms remains unachieved.
Underweight children is an indicator of inadequate nutrition. Weighment of children assumes significance as it gives a good feedback on the impact of nutrition programme. This important aspect was ignored. No mechanism was in place to watch proper distribution of medicines to the beneficiaries. There were huge shortages in deployment of Child Development Projectofficers (CDPOs) and Supervisors. Monitoring of the functioning of Anganwadi centres by CDPOs/Supervisors was inadequate, the Report added.
The ICDS Scheme is a Centrally sponsored scheme launched in 1975, designed to promote holistic development of children in the age group of 0 – 6 years, expectant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls of 11 – 18 years. The objectives of ICDS are to be achieved through a package of services comprising Supplementary Nutrition, Immunisation, Health Check-ups, Nutrition and Health Education and Non-formal pre-school Education of children of 3 – 6 years. (NSS)