Vijayawada: Poor conditions in Anganwadi centers are posing a threat to children and pregnant women. A four-year-old boy Sk. Shan Basha died due to a snake bite in an Anganwadi centre at Kollipara of Guntur district on December 14. The absence of their own buildings was forcing Anganwadi centres to run amidst poor amenities which is proving to be dangerous for children. There were 4,405 Anganwadi centres in Guntur of which 3,302 were operating from rented buildings. Parents are seeking buildings with all safety measures for the safety of children.
The locals of a Muslim colony of Kollipara lamented that the Anganwadi centre was working from an old building and they were forced to send their children there due to unavoidable circumstances. They recalled that a poisonous snake had hidden in the wall of the Anganwadi centre on the fateful day and bit Shan Basha. The parents said that they had taken their son to the hospital but in vain. They asked the government to run Aganwadis with all safety precautions.
According to reports, 70,000 children and 50,000 pregnant women are registered with Anganwadi centres in Guntur district.
The incident of snake bite is worrying not only to parents but to pregnant women also. Food stored in the same room or adjacent room in small Anganwadis attract rats despite safety measures and sometimes snakes will come to hunt rats which becames a menace. Buildings with separate storeroom facility would be safe for children and pregnant women.
P. Sunitha, minister for women and child welfare, consoled the parents of Shan Basha. She inspected several Anganwadi centres, and stated that the orders were given to put food in a separate room. She added that further orders were given for the swift completion of Anganwadi buildings. Women and child welfare department officials stated that Anganwadi workers were directed to check their respective centres everyday.