In a disturbing incident that could have endangered the health of many, in Anganwadi centres in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh, a lizard was found in the mid-day meal. Notably, Angwadis are mother and child care centre in rural India. They were started by the Indian government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
As per the latest reports, eight children have fallen ill after consuming the unclean mid-day meal served at the Anganwadi centre. Those affected are hospitalised. The incident has been reported from Vijayraghavgarh in Katni.
Madhya Pradesh: Lizard found in mid-day meal at a Anganwadi, in Katni’s Vijayraghavgarh; 8 children fall ill, shifted to hospital pic.twitter.com/Vd9vhdP1ev
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 20, 2017
It is also to be noted that this is not the first incident of its kind. In 2016, in Munjgawa village of Katni district, about 350 kilometres from Bhopal, around 123 people had food at an Anganwadi centre. Five showed signs of serious health illness due to food poisoning. They were rushed to Katni district hospital where one died within 10 minutes.
As many as 13.3 lakh (a lakh is 100,000) Anganwadi and mini-Anganwadi centres (AWCs/mini-AWCs) are operational out of 13.7 lakh sanctioned AWCs/mini-AWCs, as of 31 January 2013. These centres provide supplementary nutrition, non-formal pre-school education, nutrition and health education, immunisation, health check-up and referral services of which later three services are provided in convergence with public health systems.
As these centres were set up for the betterment of the people, this incident directly brings the safety of children under such institution into scrutiny.