Notes

Knock, knock

SO the enquiry has begun.  SO have the threats.  “Are you ready to face the consequences?” a voice said on the other end of the phone line to one village volunteer.  Villagers may also have succumbed to pressure to say anganwadi was ok …  But locks don’t lie.  When the officials knocked on the doors of the anganwadi in Dallavalasa, it was closed.

Meanwhile public support for the campaign is growing.  One anganwadi worker followed the village karyakartas as they went door to door for the ragi distribution work, watched as they weighed babies, talked to mothers.   Afterwards she invited them to her home.  Now villagers recognize AID India workers as people who can help them bring grievances to the responsible officials.  In Appalagraharam, where anganwadi is supplying grains, a few have come to show that these grains have worms in them.  Since the new Collector seems to be sincere, we will continue conveying this information and support those anganwadi workers who also want to improve things and have had difficulty given the prevailing modus operandi.

Meanwhile Surya newspaper has published an artice on March 23, pg. 3 detailing the extent of corruption in the anganwadi system.

Standard
Notes

visit to Collector (again)

Three of the village karykartas went to meet the Collector, Srikanth Nagulapalli, again. The ICDS project Director Vidyavathi was also present when they reiterated their complaint that the anganwadis were not functioning since several years. They told him what the MRO told them (”anganwadi is like that only”) and the Collector called the MRO and asked him how dare he reply like that?  The MRO denied saying any such thing and the Collector said, “the villagers are right here, do you want to talk to them?”  He declined.  The Collector  told him to conduct a proper enquiry.  He scratched his head and asked, “where are all those supplies going?”

Varahalanaidu filled him in.  “pappu kunchem vanda rUpayalaki ammutunnAranDI.”  [They are selling the dal for Rs. 100 / kunchem].  He was not familiar with “kunchem” a local unit of measure so they explained that it was just under 3 kg.  Similarly they told him the going rate of the oil, rice, etc.

They emphasized that they needed to find out from the individual households and not just go by the papers filed.  It so happened that Surya Telugu Daily had just ran an article exposing the extent of corruption in ICDS.  The author of the article passionately appealed to the Collector, as a new, young person, to correct this injustice.

Editor of Surya Telugu Daily can be reached at:

Nukarapu Surya Prakash Rao
Editor, Surya Telugu Daily
Door No 3-6 Kommadi village
Madhuravada  VIZAG 530041

Standard
Notes

MRO gives clean chit

The villagers learned from the MRO that he got back a report saying that Anganwadi services were running fine. They asked how can he believe that when so many have signed the letter to the collector? He replied that anyway we don’t expect everything to run perfectly. “You know that, right?” he added.

Some important information:

Srikakulam srkcoll@ap.nic.in 08942 222555, 222648

Standard
Notes

Revisiting Barber’s Colony

We visited the barber’s colony again yesterday. They greeted us with puzzled looks. Fortunately we had something new to show them – the haybox cooker. So we interspersed questions about the anganwadi program with talk of the wonders of the haybox.

But the facts were clear, in spite of sending a letter to the collector 6 weeks ago, nothing had changed for them. They had received nothing from the anganwadi. Continue reading

Standard
Letter to Editor

Poverty drives them to the brink

Letter to Editor, The Hindu
re: Poverty drives them to the brink by Manisha Garg, The Hindu March 6 2008.

Poverty forces Syasamma, seven months pregnant, to work with her husband for laying cables for a telecom company near TB Hospital junction in Visakhapatnam even as their two children sleep nearby. Syasamma gets Rs.70 for a day’s work and her husband Rs.80. Photo: K R Deepak, The Hindu

Dear Editor,
Your article on landless migrants struggling in poverty due to failure of NREGA tells another story. The family pictured in your article, small children sleeping by the roadside while both parents work for a combined income of Rs. 150 / day, is building the fortunes of the telecommunications industry. Continue reading

Standard