Updated: Sep 22
Q. Have regular activities started inside the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) since it reopened? What instructions have been given regarding maintaining COVID-19 appropriate behaviour?
Anganwadi Worker (AWW): Our centre has been running since July 2021. Community-based activities like Godbharai and Annaprashan take place on the seventh and nineteenth of every month at the centre, respectively.
We received instructions from our Lady Supervisor to take care of cleanliness and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour at the centre when the centre was about to open. For example, instructions about getting children to wash their hands with soap and conducting all activities while maintaining adequate physical distance.
Due to a lack of resources, a lot of work does not get done, but we try to do as much as possible. Our centre is not complete, we don’t even have a door or window at the centre, but we have received instructions to conduct all activities at the centre. The children have to sit on the ground and we do not receive money timely, even for monthly activities like Godbharai and Annaprashan.
Q. Is hot-cooked food being served to children? What is the malnutrition status in your locality?
AWW: Yes, we restarted serving hot-cooked food this January. Only one child at the centre is malnourished at the moment.
Q. Are there any challenges that you are currently facing in your work?
AWW: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, all the children used to come to the centre. But the children no longer come in the morning when the centre starts. We have to call them again and again. Many children come at 10 AM when food is served.
Many families here have five to seven children. We do not receive enough supply to serve all of them, so how can we provide them with nutritious food?
I also have trouble filling out the online Poshan tracker [which tracks key nutrition parameters among children, girls, and pregnant and lactating women]. I make one of my children fill it in, because I am unable to do so.
Q. According to you, during the COVID-19 pandemic, were there things which the government should have provided but did not?
AWW: The ASHA workers I work with were insured for ₹50 lakh, but we did not get any such security. Nor did we receive financial assistance of any kind.
This interview was conducted with an Anganwadi Worker in Bihar in Hindi on 7 May 2022, and has been translated.
Source: Gram Vaani