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
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 ChildDevelopment 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 Courthas given a number ofinterim ordersto both Govt. of Indiaand State Govt. and Union Territoriesfor effective implementation of this scheme ensuring the coverage ofall childrenbelow six years, all pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls in all rural habitationsand urban slums with all nutritional and health servicesof the ICDS. On dated28th November,2001,the Supreme Courtdirectedall the State Govt. and Union Territoriesto implement the ICDS in fulland to ensurethat every ICDSdisbursing centrein the country shallprovideas under:
(a)Each childup to six years of ageto get 300 caloriesand 8-10 grams ofprotein
(b)Each adolescent girl to get 500 caloriesand 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 malnourishedchildto get 600 caloriesand 16-20 grams ofprotein
(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 requiresthe schemeto 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.
The aspect of sanctioning 14 lakhAWCs and increase of norm of rupee one to rupees 2 per childper daywould be considered bythis Courtafter two weeks.
The effort shall be made that all SC/ST hamlets/habitationsin the countryhave Anganwadi centres as early as possible.
The contractors shall not be used for supply of nutrition in Anganwadisand preferablyICDSfunds shall bespentby makinguse of village communities, self-help groups and Mahila Mandals for bying of grains and preparation of meals.
All the State Governments/Union Territories shall use the Pradhanamantri Gramodaya Yojna Fund ( PMJY) in additionto the state allocationand notas a substitutefor state funding.
All the State Governments/Union Territoriesshall allocate fundsfor ICDSon the basis of normof one rupeesper child per day, 100 beneficiariesper AWCand 300days feedingin a year.
BPLshall not be usedas an eligibility criteria for ICDS.
On 13th December, 2006, in the judgement, the Supreme Courtdirected that Govt. of Indiashall sanctionand operationalisea minimum of 14 lakh AWCs in a phased and even manner startingforthwithand ending December 2008.The Court also states thatall the State Governments and Union Territoriesshall fullyimplementthe ICDS scheme by, interalia
(i) Allocating and spendingat least Rs. 2/-per childper day for supplementary nutritionout of whichthe Central Govt.shall contributeRs. 1/- per child per day.
(ii) Allocating and spending at least Rs. 2.70for every severely malnourished child per day for supplementary nutrition out of whichthe Central Govt.shall contributeRs. 1.35 per child per day.
(iii) Allocationand spendingat least Rs. 2.30for everypregnant women, nursingmother/adolescentgirlper dayfor supplementary nutritionout of whichthe Central Govt.shall contributeRs.1.15.
Further the Supreme Courtin its orderdated9th July 2007 directedthat "The backlog has to beclearedimmediately and the centreswhich have been sanctionedup to September ,2006 shall be made operationaland functionalby 15th July.2007 in the case of all states exceptthe state of U.P.
On dated8th 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 instancesof misuse of fundsto the respective implementing authorities who shall on receipt of such complaints, investigateand take appropriate actionin accordance with law.
b. Gram Sabhas areempoweredto monitorthe implementation ofthe various schemeand have accessto relevantinformationrelating to , inter alia, sectionof beneficiariesand the disbursement of benefits. The Gram Sabhascan raisetheir grievancesin the matterset outabove and the redressalof the grievancesshall be doneaccordingly.
c. Ona complaintbeing made to the Chief Executive Officer of theZilla Panchayat/ Collector regarding non-compliance of the order of this court, the concerned CEO/ Collector shall recordthe salient featuresof the complaintin a register maintainedfor this purpose , acknowledgereceiptof the complaintand forthwith securecompliance 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
Asper information providedby Women and Child Development, Govt. of Orissa in 2008,there are total number of 41,697 Anganwadi Centres in the state. Total number of beneficiariesi.e., child within age groupof 0to 6 years, pregnant and lactating women covered under ICDS is49, 85,131.Among them,54,944children are malnourished.Pregnant and lactating women are7,83,535.The Govt. has appointed 40,369 Anganwadi workersin 41,697centres.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 righttomonitor the implementation of food security programmemeant 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 evolvedby the people to conduct social auditin MirdhapaliGram Panchayat under Bolangir Block of Bolangir district. This social audit was facilitated bytwo 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 beneficiariesabout 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.
Tomake recommendation to Govt., if anyfor effective implementation of the scheme.
5. About Gram Panchayat
Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat is around 7kms fromdistrict 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 offood-grainsto each Anganwadi centre in the Gram Panchayat.
The information obtained was cross-checked with the beneficiaries at filed level.
The volunteers also made personal visitto understandtheday-wisephysical functioning of the Aganwadi centres andpreparedobservation notefor each centre.
Series of village meetings were organizedto sensitise the peopleas well as beneficiariesabout the objectives of social audit.
Letter was given to Collector,allthe ICDS officials like CDPO, Supervisor, Anganwadi workersto be present in the meeting.
7. Proceedings of Social Audit
Social Audit of ICDS programme was heldatKa ganvillage of Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat under BolangirSadar Block of Bolangir district on 2.6.09. Around 200peoplemostly beneficiaries, children, women SHG members, Panchayat Representativeshad participatedin 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 parishadwere invited, they had not attended the meeting. No Anganwadi Worker, Supervisor, Helper waspresent 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, SATARKAand 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.
Debaki Bighela, beneficiary of Emergency Feeding programme
I have received4 Ada ( local weight system) rice( around 3.4 kg) and one ManaDal ( around 400 gram)in a month. Since month of March, I have notreceived rice and dalfrom the Anganwadi worker on the plea thatthe Govt. has not supplied it.
Other beneficiarieslike Bhumisuta Seth,Tula Dharua,Des Bhoi,Gopeshwari Bag heldsame view.
Shakuntala Kumvar, Pregnant woman
She is being provided 2 Ada (1750 gram) riceonce in every two months. My son has been one year old. Now Anganwadi worker is denyingfood tomy son on the plea thatthere is no such provisionto give food when a child is completed one year.
Harihar Putel, father ofa child beneficiary
My daughter Priyanka ( one year old)has been enrolled in Anganwadi centre. She has beengiven food only two months. Now she is not given food in the Centre.
Niranjan Thanapati,father of the child beneficiary
He has one son (2 and half years old) and one daughter ( 5 years old). Their name has been enrolledin Anganwadi Centre. Butfood is not provided to them in the Centre. Though he has requestedto the Anganawadi worker several times, she has not listenedto him.
Saraswati Bhue, ASHAworker
She has been providing all sorts of support to the Anganwadi workers. Though I have asked her to bringweight machine, she has not brought it. The children are not weighedin the centre.Health check-up is also not done at the centre.
Sukun Dalei, Mother of a child beneficiary
Name of my daughter Sukun Dalei has been getting food since last three years.Now she is three years ole. The Anganwadi worker hasstriked out her name from the list. Sheisnotgetting food.
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 quantityfixedunder this programme.
Biman Bhoi, Ward Member
Asthe Anganwadi workerfalsely informedto the people about cancellation of the programme,no beneficiary couldcome to attend the meetingfrom his village.
Ekadasia Bag, ward Member
Similarly,though Angawadi worker of Barakaniwas interested tocome 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 usetraditional weight system like ADA, MANA, GIDHA etc.while weighingfood 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 theprescribed quantity offood-grainsto be distributedin the centre. There is no display boardat the Anganwadi centre.
The attendance Register is not open for public inspection. The Anganwadi centre is not opened regularly. The childrendo not get pre-school educationat the centre.
All the beneficiaries said thathealthcheck up is never done in the centre.
Though there is norm for providingcooked food to the beneficiaries,the beneficiaries are given dry food in all centres.
Sarapanch, Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat
Participating inthe discussion, Agasti Majhi, Sarapanch said thatthis is a good step for proper implementation of ICDS schemein 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 againstthemto the higher authoritiesaccordingly.
After a lot of discussion, the following resolution was passed in the meeting.
a. A memorandum will be submitted to the Collector, Bolangirto constitutean enquiry into the malpracticein respect of less allotmentof rice and dal to the centre and distribution of the same to thebeneficiaries.
b. Findings of the social audit will be presented to the Child Development Programme Officer, BolangirSadar Block and District Social welfare Officer, Bolangir to take reformative measuresfor effective implementation of ICDS centre in Mirdhapali Gram Panchayat.
c. Sarapanchwas requested to take measures exercisinghis powerforproper management of the centre. Sarapanch can review the functioning of the centre by calling the meeting of all Anganwadi workers at least once inevery month.
d. SATARKAand Dhabaleshwar Club was requestedto organize awarenesscampaignon ICDS and otherfood security programme.
e. Opening of Anganwadi Centres should be regularized. Steps should be takenfor stay of workersin the village.
f. Dali childrenof Harijanpada are not allowedto get pre-school educationin the Anganwadi Centrelocated 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 stepsto 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 GramSabha. The administration should take steps to ensure conducting social audit at least twice in a year.
Anganwadi Centre, Barakani
Name of Anganwadi Worker: Saroj Nalini Nag
Helper's name:Suryakanti Singh
It is observed that building ofAngawadi 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 forclosure 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 thriceduring seven months.
Children said that they were provided spoilt rice and dal with ants.
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.
Anganwadi Centre, Mirdhapali
Name of Anganwadi Worker- Gouri Behera
The volunteers metGouri 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 thecentre,the worker said that she also received around 5kg of rice shortage to prescribed 50 kg of rice ina bag. .
Resolution passed in Social Audit meeting on ICDS conducted in Mirdhapali Gram Panchayatunder Bolangir Sadar Block of Bolangir district on 2.6.09
On 2.6.09, a Social Audit on ICDS proogramme was conductedin 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, ShankarPanigrahi, Pabitra Kumar Das, a good number of journalists had participatedand audited the ICDS programme. Though invited, no Govt. officials, ICDS supervisors had attended the meeting.
In the meeting, the beneficiaries and the common peopleshared their experiencewhile accessing the benefit of ICDS programme. It was found that no Anganwadi Centre is running effectivelyand no beneficiaryis gettingfoodas per ICDS norm. Less quantity of rice and dal is distributed to the pregnant and lactating women and children. The centresare 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 irregularitiesof ICDSprogramme as alleged bybeneficiaries in the meeting and accordingly action should be takenagainsttheofficials found guilty.
b. Opening of Anganwadi Centres should be regularized. Steps should be takenfor stay of workersin the village.
c. Dali childrenof Harijanpada are not allowedto get pre-school educationin the Anganwadi Centrelocated 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 stepsto 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 GramSabha. The administration should take steps to ensure conducting social audit at least twice in a year.
To post your messages, articles, write-up, issues for public discussions, documentary video and public event invitations at The National Forum of India (NFI) websites, simply send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. No sign-up required.