Pages

Subscribe:

Social Audit of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme

 
Report on Social Audit of ICDS Scheme conducted in Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat of Bolangir district, Orissa

 

Introduction

A child is the future of nation. Development of child is necessary for growth and prosperity of the country.  National Policy on Children proclaimed by Government of India in August 1974 declared children as, "supremely important asset" of the country. The policy provided the required framework for assigning priority to different needs of the child. The programme of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) was launched in 1975 seeking to provide an integrated package of services in a convergent manner for the holistic development of the child. It is the only Govt. programme in the country that aims to cater to the nutrition requirements and other health, immunization, and early education needs of the most vulnerable groups of population namely children under six years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls through providing a package of services including supplementary nutrition, pre-school education, immunization, health check-up, referral services and nutrition & health education. This programme is implemented through the country.

 

The objectives of the scheme are :-

·         to improve the nutritional and health status of pre-school children in the age-group of 0-6 years;

·         to lay the foundation of proper psychological development of the child;

·         to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school drop-out;

·         to achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and

·         to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.

Judgement of Supreme Court on ICDS

 

Hearing the Writ petition filed by PUCL vs Govt. of India,  the Supreme Court  has given a number of  interim orders  to both Govt. of India  and State Govt. and Union Territories  for effective implementation of this scheme ensuring the coverage of  all children  below six years, all pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls in all rural habitations  and urban slums with all nutritional and health services  of the ICDS. On dated  28th November,2001,  the Supreme Court  directed  all the State Govt. and Union Territories  to implement the ICDS in full  and to ensure  that every ICDS  disbursing centre  in the country shall  provide  as under:

 

(a)    Each child  up to six years of age  to get 300 calories  and 8-10 grams of  protein

(b)    Each adolescent girl to get 500 calories  and 20-25 grams of protein

(c)     Each pregnant woman and each nursing mother to get 500 calories and 20-25 grams of protein

(d)    Each malnourished  child  to get 600 calories  and 16-20 grams of  protein

(e)    Have a disbursement centre in every settlement.

 

The Supreme Court through various orders has directed the Govt. of India and the State/UT governments to ensure not only that every child, adolescent girl and women of required eligibility to be covered, it also requires  the scheme  to be geographically universalised.

 

On 7th October, 2004, the Supreme Court issued the following directions to the Govt. of India and all State Govt./Union Territories.

 

 

  1. The aspect of sanctioning 14 lakh  AWCs and increase of norm of rupee one to rupees 2 per child  per day  would be considered by  this Court  after two weeks.
  2. The effort shall be made that all SC/ST hamlets/habitations  in the country  have Anganwadi centres as early as possible.
  3. The contractors shall not be used for supply of nutrition in Anganwadis  and preferably  ICDS  funds shall be  spent  by making  use of village communities, self-help groups and Mahila Mandals for bying of grains and preparation of meals.
  4. All the State Governments/Union Territories shall use the Pradhanamantri Gramodaya Yojna Fund ( PMJY) in addition  to the state allocation  and not  as a substitute  for state funding.
  5.  All the State Governments/Union Territories  shall allocate funds  for ICDS  on the basis of norm  of one rupees  per child per day, 100 beneficiaries  per AWC  and 300  days feeding  in a year.
  6. BPL  shall not be used  as an eligibility criteria for ICDS.

 

 On 13th December, 2006, in the judgement, the Supreme Court  directed that Govt. of India  shall sanction  and operationalise  a minimum of 14 lakh AWCs in a phased and even manner starting  forthwith  and ending December 2008.   The Court also states that  all the State Governments and Union Territories  shall fully  implement  the ICDS scheme by, interalia

 

(i) Allocating and spending  at least Rs. 2/-  per child  per day for supplementary nutrition  out of which  the Central Govt.  shall contribute  Rs. 1/- per child per day.

 

(ii) Allocating and spending at least Rs. 2.70  for every severely malnourished child per day for supplementary nutrition out of which  the Central Govt.  shall contribute  Rs. 1.35 per child per day.

 

(iii) Allocation  and spending  at least Rs. 2.30  for every  pregnant women, nursing  mother/adolescent  girl  per day  for supplementary nutrition  out of which  the Central Govt.  shall contribute  Rs.1.15. 

 

Further the Supreme Court  in its order  dated  9th July 2007 directed  that "The backlog has to be  cleared  immediately and the centres  which have been sanctioned  up to September ,2006 shall be made operational  and functional  by 15th July.2007 in the case of all states except  the state of U.P.

 

On dated   8th May'2002, Supreme Court held that

a. Gram Sabhas are entitled to conduct a social audit into all food/employment schemes and to report all instances  of misuse of funds  to the respective implementing authorities who shall on receipt of such complaints, investigate  and take appropriate action  in accordance with law.

 

b. Gram Sabhas are  empowered  to monitor  the implementation of  the various scheme  and have access  to relevant  information  relating to , inter alia, section  of beneficiaries  and the disbursement of benefits. The Gram Sabhas  can raise  their grievances  in the matter  set out  above and the redressal  of the grievances  shall be done  accordingly.

 

c. On  a complaint  being made to the Chief Executive Officer of the  Zilla Panchayat/ Collector regarding non-compliance of the order of this court, the concerned CEO/ Collector shall record  the salient features  of the complaint  in a register maintained  for this purpose , acknowledge  receipt  of the complaint  and forthwith secure  compliance with this Court's order.

 

d. The responsibility for implementation of the order of this court shall be that of the CEO/Collector. The Chief Secretary will ensure compliance with the order of this court.

 

2.  ICDS in Orissa

 

As  per information provided  by Women and Child Development, Govt. of Orissa in 2008,  there are total number of  41,697 Anganwadi Centres in the state.  Total number of beneficiaries  i.e., child within age group  of 0to 6 years, pregnant and lactating women covered under ICDS is  49, 85,131.  Among them,  54,944  children are malnourished.  Pregnant and lactating women are  7,83,535.  The Govt. has appointed 40,369 Anganwadi workers    in 41,697  centres.  It means Anaganwadi workers have not been appointed in 1325 centers.

 

3. Why Social Audit

 

Social Audit is a process which can ensure participation of the common people in the governance and ensure transparency in the implementation of the programme.  The Supreme Court held that Gram Sabha is the appropriate body which can conduct social audit of food security programme within its jurisdiction. It means the common people have right  to  monitor the implementation of food security programme  meant for themselves.  But the ground reality is that the people are hardly aware about their right as well as entitlement in scheme.  Due to lack of awareness among the people, most of the food security schemes are in disarray. Corruption, black-marketing of the items, misappropriation is the common phenomena in the implementation of these schemes.  Though huge fund is spent in the name of the people,  it does not reach to them. Due to absence of proper grievance redressal mechanism, though the people made complaints, they could not get justice.  Keeping it in view, with a view to sensitizing the people about the scheme and their right to conduct social audit of this scheme, a consensus evolved  by the people to conduct social audit  in Mirdhapali  Gram Panchayat under Bolangir Block of Bolangir district. This social audit was facilitated by two local CBOs like SATARKA, Bolangir and Dhabaleshwar Club, Mirdhapali and supported by The Humanity, Patnagarh, Bolangir.   

 

4.  Objectives of Social Audit

  • To sensitize the Community as well as beneficiaries  about their entitlement in ICDS scheme.
  • To understand the manner of implementation of the scheme and how the beneficiaries access to it.
  • To identify any problems confronted by the beneficiaries while accessing their entitlements and devise action strategy to address it.
  • To  make recommendation to Govt., if any  for effective implementation of the scheme.

 

5. About Gram Panchayat

 

Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat is around 7  kms from  district head quarter. It consists of villages like Barkani, Mirdhapali, Kagan, Tulandi, Bari Udar Dhuba Udar etc.

 

6. Process followed for conducting social audit

  • A team of volunteers was selected and trained on concept of social audit and its process to be conducted.
  • Secondary information was collected from the office of ICDS about the allotment of  food-grains  to each Anganwadi centre in the Gram Panchayat.
  • The information obtained was cross-checked with the beneficiaries at filed level.
  • The volunteers also made personal visit  to understand  the  day-wise  physical functioning of the Aganwadi centres and  prepared  observation note  for each centre.
  • Series of village meetings were organized   to sensitise the people  as well as beneficiaries  about the objectives of social audit.
  • Letter was given to Collector,  all  the ICDS officials like CDPO, Supervisor, Anganwadi workers  to be present in the meeting.

7. Proceedings of Social Audit

 

Social Audit of ICDS programme was held  at  Ka gan  village of Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat under Bolangir  Sadar Block of Bolangir district on 2.6.09. Around 200  people  mostly beneficiaries, children, women SHG members, Panchayat Representatives  had participated  in the meeting. It was facilitated by SATARKA, NGO working in Bolangir district and Dhabaleshwar Club, a CBO working in the Panchayat and supported by The Humanity, Patnagarh, Bolangir.. Though the ICDS officials, Block development officer, President, Zilla parishad   were invited, they had not attended the meeting. No Anganwadi Worker, Supervisor, Helper was  present in the meeting. However, Srimati Agasti Majhi, sarapanch, Sri Gajanan Bhoi, Samiti Member,  Kedar Nath Sahu, Secretary, WARDS, Shankar Panigrahi, Secretary, SATARKA, Pabitra Das, President, SATARKA  and Journalists were present in the meeting. While Mr. Pabitra Das welcomes the participants, Mr. Kedar nath Sahu had given introductory remarks. Mr. Shankar panigrahi has presented an observation Note on functioning of AWC in different villages like Barkani, Ka Gan, Ulundi, Mirdhapali etc. Dillip Thanapati of Dhabaleswar Club had coordinated the meeting. This Observation Note is attached herewith towards last part of the report. 

 

Then, the beneficiaries i.e., pregnant women, lactating women, older persons, children, women SHG member, village people had presented testimonies relating to mismanagement, corruption, black-marketing of food items, non-functioning of AWCs and non-transparent implementation of ICDS programme in the Panchayat.

 

Testimony-1

 

Debaki Bighela, beneficiary of Emergency Feeding programme

Village- Kagan

I have received  4 Ada ( local weight system) rice  ( around 3.4 kg) and one Mana  Dal ( around 400 gram)  in a month. Since month of March, I have not  received rice and dal  from the Anganwadi worker on the plea that  the Govt. has not supplied it.

Other beneficiaries  like Bhumisuta Seth,  Tula Dharua,  Des Bhoi,  Gopeshwari Bag held  same view.

 

Testimony-2

 

Shakuntala Kumvar, Pregnant woman

Village-Kagan

She is being provided 2 Ada (1750 gram) rice  once in every two months. My son has been one year old. Now Anganwadi worker is denying  food to  my son on the plea that  there is no such provision  to give food when a child is completed one year.

 

Testimony-3

 

Harihar Putel, father of  a child beneficiary

Village- Mirdhapali

My daughter Priyanka ( one year old)  has been enrolled in Anganwadi centre. She has been  given food only two months. Now she is not given food in the Centre.

 

Testimony-4

 

Niranjan Thanapati,  father of the child beneficiary

Village-Kagan

 

He has one son (2 and half years old) and one daughter ( 5 years old). Their name has been enrolled  in Anganwadi Centre. But  food is not provided to them in the Centre. Though he has requested  to the Anganawadi worker several times, she has not listened  to him.

 

Testimony-5

 

Saraswati Bhue, ASHA  worker

Village-Mirdhapali village

She has been providing all sorts of support to the Anganwadi workers. Though I have asked her to bring  weight machine, she has not brought it. The children are not weighed   in the centre.  Health check-up is also not done at the centre.

 

Testimony-6

 

Sukun Dalei, Mother of a child beneficiary

Village-Mirdhapali

Name of my daughter Sukun Dalei has been getting food since last three years.  Now she is three years ole. The Anganwadi worker has   striked out her name from the list. She  is  not  getting food.

 

Testimony-7

 

Sukhiram Mahakud, beneficiary of  Emergency feeding programme

Village-Mirdhapali

 I and my wife are the beneficiaries under Emergency Feeding Programme.   We are just provided 8 Ada (approximately 7 k.g.) rice and one Ada (approximately 800 gram) Dal in a month. This is less that the quantity  fixed  under this programme.

 

Testimony-8

 

Biman Bhoi, Ward Member

Village- Tulandi

As  the Anganwadi worker  falsely informed  to the people about cancellation of the programme,  no beneficiary could  come to attend the meeting  from his village. 

 

Testimony-9

 

Ekadasia Bag, ward Member

Village- Barakani

Similarly,  though Angawadi worker of Barakani  was interested to  come to the meeting with her beneficiaries, higher officials asked her not to attend the meeting. 

 

Some key issues raised

 

  • Though there is legal weight machine, it is not used in Anganwadi Centre. The Anganwadi Workers use  traditional weight system like ADA, MANA, GIDHA etc.  while weighing  food items like rice and dal. Using this traditional weight machine, the Anganwadi workers cheat the beneficiaries by giving less quantity of items against the prescribed one. 
  • Neither the people nor the beneficiaries are aware about the  prescribed quantity of  food-grains  to be distributed  in the centre. There is no display board    at the Anganwadi centre. 
  • The attendance Register is not open for public inspection. The Anganwadi centre is not opened regularly. The children  do not get pre-school education  at the centre. 
  •  All the beneficiaries said that  health  check up is never done in the centre. 
  • Though there is norm for providing  cooked food to the beneficiaries,  the beneficiaries are given dry food in all centres.

 

Sarapanch, Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat

Participating in  the discussion, Agasti Majhi, Sarapanch said that  this is a good step for proper implementation of ICDS scheme  in our Gram Panchayat. Our village will develop through such type of meeting.  We came to know many things about ICDS scheme. On question raised by the participants with regard to proposed action to be taken on complaint made by the beneficiaries, he said that he would seek explanation from all Anganwadi workers about alleged malpractice in the Panchayat meeting to be held on 25.6.09 and recommend disciplinary action against  them  to the higher authorities  accordingly.

 

Recommendation

 

After a lot of discussion, the following resolution was passed in the meeting.

 

a. A memorandum will be submitted to the Collector, Bolangir   to constitute  an enquiry into the malpractice  in respect of less allotment  of rice and dal to the centre and distribution of the same to the  beneficiaries.

 

b. Findings of the social audit will be presented to the  Child Development Programme Officer, Bolangir  Sadar Block and District Social welfare Officer, Bolangir to take reformative measures  for effective implementation of ICDS centre in Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat.

 

c. Sarapanch  was requested to take measures exercising  his power   for   proper management of the centre. Sarapanch can review the functioning of the centre by calling the meeting of all Anganwadi workers at least once in  every month.

 

d. SATARKA  and Dhabaleshwar Club was requested  to organize awareness  campaign  on ICDS and other  food security programme.

e. Opening of Anganwadi Centres should be regularized. Steps should be taken  for stay of workers  in the village.

 

f. Dali children  of Harijanpada are not allowed  to get pre-school education  in the Anganwadi Centre  located at Mirdhapali village. The administration should take steps immediately in this regard.

 

g. Weight of the children is not taken in any Anganwadi Centres in this Gram Panchayat. Health check-up is not being done. The administration should take steps   to ensure health check and weight measurement at least once in three months.

 

h. The foods distributed to the children in the centres are very low quality and spoilt. Less quantity of rice and dal is also given to them.  The administration should take steps to ensure foods with good quality and quantity as per ICDS norm at the earliest.

 

i. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has directed all the State Govt.  to conduct social audit of food security programmes by Gram  Sabha. The administration should take steps to ensure conducting social audit at least twice in a year.

 

 

 Observation Note-1

 

Anganwadi Centre, Barakani

Name of Anganwadi Worker: Saroj Nalini Nag

Helper's name:                    Suryakanti Singh

 

It is observed that building of  Angawadi Centre ( AWC)   is situated at the end of the village along roadside near the primary school. The Centre is under construction. Now it is being operated in a Bhagawat Tungi which is situated in the middle of the village. During visit to the centre at 9.30 AM, it was found closed. The volunteers met the helper and wanted to know about the centre.  She said that Angawadi Worker belongs to Bolangir town and comes to centre every day. 25 children with the age group of 0-6 years have been enrolled in the centre. All food items is supplied to the centre in every month.  When asked about reason for  closure of AWC, she said that Anganwadi Worker has gone for meeting. But the children present during the meeting said that AWC is closed since five days. 

 

She also told that she cooked 7 kg rice and 1200 gram dal for 25 children and 20 older persons in every day. They all take the cooked food to their home.

 

Then the volunteers met beneficiaries i.e., 16 children and 7 pregnant and lactating women and asked them about functioning of the centre.  During interaction with them,  the volunteers observed the following problems.

  • It was found that there is a lot of irregularities in immunization programme.  Women and children are not properly immunized.
  • Malnourished children are not identified.
  •  Health check is not done properly and timely
  • There is no pre-schooling in the centre.
  • The pregnant women and nursing women are provided 4 Ada rice (3 kg 400 gram) and 1 Ada dal (850 gram)    every month.
  • Sunita Bagarti, a beneficiary said that she had got the abovementioned amount of rice and dal thrice   during seven months.
  • Children said that they were provided spoilt rice and dal with ants.

 

Observation Note-2

 

Anganwadi Centre, Kagan

Name of Anganwadi Worker: Sabitri Adabania

Helper's name:                       Ambika Adabania

 

When the volunteers visited the Anganwadi Centre of Kagan village, they found the husband of Angawadi Worker (AWW) doing some paper works. He was a little bit disturbed, when the volunteers approached them. He was also seen giving thumb impression and signature of the beneficiaries in the Registers.  When the volunteers checked the file and register, it was found that names of the beneficiaries are changed in another month. During interaction, the Anganwadi worker said that there are 35 pre-school children and 120 pregnant and lactating women in the centre. She said that dry food is supplied to the beneficiaries.  Centre is opened 25 days in a month. There is always shortage of 5 to 7 kg rice in each bag supplied by the contractor called Samaleshwari Food Products, Gajabahal, Kalahandi.  "As I received less quantity of rice, I was forced to adjust with same quantity by giving 3.4 kg of rice instead of 4.750 kg" says Sabitri Adabania. Though the centre is not opened regularly; the register shows 100% attendance of beneficiaries.  While discussing with the people, the volunteers came to know that the AWW is not opening the centre regularly and not providing food to the children. Putting false attendance, the Angawadi worker is amassing huge money by selling rice and dal in the market. 

 

Observation Note-3

Anganwadi Centre, Mirdhapali

Name of Anganwadi Worker- Gouri Behera

 

The volunteers met  Gouri Behera, AWW in Mirdhapali centre.  While discussing with her, it was found that total number of 30 children and 30 pregnant and lactating women have been enrolled in the centre. The centre is opened from 7 to 11 AM. Cooked food is given to the children. 15 older persons also get food under Emergency Feeding Programme. No referral service is given to the school.  In respect of supply of quantity of rice to the  centre,  the worker said that she also received around 5kg of rice shortage to prescribed 50 kg of rice in  a bag. .

 

 

Resolution passed in Social Audit meeting on ICDS conducted in Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat  under Bolangir Sadar Block of Bolangir district on 2.6.09

 

On 2.6.09, a Social Audit on ICDS proogramme was conducted   in the premises of Dhabaleshwar Temple located at Kangan village of Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat. Mr. Agasti Majhi, Sarapanch presided over the meeting. All the beneficiaries of Anganwadi Centres, members of Dhabeleshwar Club, social activists like Kedar Nath Sahu, Mukesh Behera, Shankar  Panigrahi, Pabitra Kumar Das, a good number of journalists had participated  and audited the ICDS programme. Though invited, no Govt. officials, ICDS supervisors had attended the meeting.

 

In the meeting, the beneficiaries and the common people  shared their experience  while accessing the benefit of ICDS programme. It was found that no Anganwadi Centre is running effectively  and no beneficiary  is getting  food  as per ICDS norm. Less quantity of rice and dal is distributed to the pregnant and lactating women and children. The centres  are not opened regularly.  Then all the participants had made the following resolution unanimously to be presented to the Collector, Bolangir for effective implementation of ICDS programme in Bolangir in general and Mirdhapali gram panchayat in particular.

 

a. An enquiry should be made in to irregularities   of ICDS  programme as alleged by  beneficiaries in the meeting and accordingly action should be taken  against  the  officials found guilty.

b. Opening of Anganwadi Centres should be regularized. Steps should be taken  for stay of workers  in the village.

c. Dali children  of Harijanpada are not allowed  to get pre-school education  in the Anganwadi Centre  located at Mirdhapali village. The administration should take steps immediately in this regard.

d. Weight of the children is not taken in any Anganwadi Centres in this Gram Panchayat. Health check-up is not being done. The administration should take steps   to ensure health check and weight measurement at least once in three months.

e. The foods distributed to the children in the centres are very low quality and spoilt. Less quantity of rice and dal is also given to them.  The administration should take steps to ensure foods with good quality and quantity as per ICDS norm at the earliest.

5. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has directed all the State Govt.  to conduct social audit of food security programmes by Gram  Sabha. The administration should take steps to ensure conducting social audit at least twice in a year.

 

Prepared by

Shankar Panigrahi

Secretary, SATARKA