Srinagar, Sep 3: Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has once again come under severe criticism as the Anganwadi centres in several parts of Kashmir are without food items and ingredients, hence no food items are being distributed to children for the last several months.
Officials within the department said that Anganwadi centres are without food items and ingredients required to be distributed among the children.
They said that in the last four-five months, food items were distributed among children from 7 to 21 days only.
They added that it seems the department is in a mess and that apart from shortage of food items, employees from CDPOs to helpers are without salaries from the last several months.
Several Anganwadi workers and helpers who said that people at some places have raised voice over the shortage of food items but nothing has happened so far.
They said that everybody raises questions about the shortage of food items but none is concerned about their salaries.
CDPOs and supervisors also said that they are without salaries from the last four months.
A top official of the department while acknowledging shortage of food items in Anganwadi centres said that earlier the department used to get funds at state level.
The official said that decentralisation at panchayat level has created the entire problem and the department gets funds through which centres can distribute funds for few days only but the process takes lot of time as sometimes Panchs and Sarpanchs are not available due to security or other issues at district or block levels.
The official added that some funds have been made available recently and procurement process and even distribution process in some zones has already started.
The official said that after distributing supply to centres, analytical testing takes around 10-15 days following which items are being distributed among children.
It added that this supply will be available for 42 days now after that future course of action can be decided.