Govt’s plan for pregnant, lactating women flops


Nobody wants to travel to faraway anganwadis

The Karnataka government’s Mathru Poorna scheme to provide nutritious food to pregnant and lactating women in rural areas seems to have no takers in Hosanagara taluk of Shivamogga district.

None of the 1,800 registered beneficiaries goes to anganwadis to eat meals provided under the scheme. They say they are too weak to travel, have other children to care for, or the nearest anganwadi is too far from their homes.

Lack of transport facilities and bad roads are other issues, the women say.

But the government claims the scheme, implemented on October 2, 2017, is running well in the taluk.

Raju, first division assistant officer of the Child Development Project, women and child welfare, Hosanagara, said: “Every day, 1,800 women are getting their food in a total of 345 anganwadis.”

Jayalakshmi, who has a small baby, informed The Observer: “It’s difficult for me to go every day with my newborn child to have a meal. The anganwadi is too far. My husband works in a field, and I have two other children. I can’t pay Rs 100 for an autorickshaw ride to the nearest anganwadi every day.”

What does she eat at home? “Rice and rasam,” Jayalakshmi says with a smile. Her childbirth reports say she has acute anemia and needs a proper diet.

“My daughter-in-law is expecting, but it’s difficult for her to travel on this uneven road in her advanced stage. Sometimes I accompany her, but it is not possible every day as I need to go to the field to work,” Chandramma said.

Dr Lingaraja G.B., a doctor in the Hosanagara taluk hospital, said: “Most of the women are anemic which causes difficulties both during and after pregnancy for both the mother and the newborn.”

Under the the Mathru Poorna scheme, implemented by the state government’s department of women and child welfare, pregnant and lactating women are supposed to receive rice, dal or sambar, green vegetables, pulses, eggs and chikki. They need to go to the nearest anganwadi to eat a nutritious meal.

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