Ludhiana: Anganwadi diet scheme faces grievance for needy menu newsfragment

A national programme aimed toward making sure ample diet for pregnant ladies, nursing moms, and small children faces grievance for providing a restricted and unappealing menu.

Anganwadi diet scheme faces grievance for needy menu, low attraction. (HT FILE)

Critics argue that the flow choices of dalia, premix khichdi, soybean puffs, sugar, and vanaspati, fall snip in the case of style, shelf past, and dietary price.

Within the time, the diet programme supplied a extra numerous and strengthening menu, that includes pieces like milk powder, wheat, and rice. On the other hand, throughout the span of only one date, those staple components had been changed with much less interesting substitutes. Wheat kernels had been substituted with dalia, rice with premix khichdi, and milk powder used to be traded for soybean puffs, make happen a lackluster and nutritionally poor providing.

An anganwadi associate from Ludhiana, mentioned, “Earlier, we had whole wheat that could be customised to meet the individual needs of the beneficiaries. However, now we receive dalia only, which has a short shelf life and spoils quickly. The replacement of rice with premix khichdi has left us with no option to prepare other dishes like kheer and pulao. Additionally, premix khichdi’s bland taste is far from popular, leaving no room to cater to individual tastes. Earlier, we used to prepare kheer and sweet dalia for kids using milk, which is now unavailable.”

Mamta, a six-month-pregnant who works as a area assistance, expressed her considerations, pronouncing, “Doctors have advised me to consume more vegetables, dairy, and essential vitamins and proteins to maintain my health. However, the options we receive here are not only unappetizing but also inadequate in meeting the nutritional needs recommended by the doctor.”

Based on those considerations, Rupinder Kaur, deputy director of the built-in kid building services and products (ICDS) dealing with the spare diet programme (SNP), said, “The department of social security and women & child development is implementing the SNP in accordance with the guidelines set by the government of India and the Punjab government. The department is committed to running the scheme effectively, efficiently, and within a designated timeframe. Nutrition in the form of pre-mix and pre-cooked meals is being provided to different categories of beneficiaries through Markfed. This includes pre-mix khichdi, panjiri, sweet and dalia, and vanaspati. We strictly follow the nutrition norms for calories, proteins, and costing per beneficiary. Our recipes have been designed in consultation with nutritionists and doctors, and palatability and viability tests have been conducted. We are also working on introducing rice and kheer to the menu. Soon, ready-to-cook sweet dalia with milk and namkeen dalia will be made available for the beneficiaries.”

Raji Shrivastava, IAS, particular secretary of the section of social safety, ladies, and kid building, Punjab, mentioned, “We are looking at revising our recipes to include millets, reduce sugar and salt content, and introduce traditional recipes to enhance variety and improve user satisfaction. During Poshan Maah in September, we celebrated a month-long festival across Punjab with a focus on healthy eating, better nutrition, reduced oil, salt, sugar content, and the inclusion of millets. We also promoted home-grown greens through the Poshan Vatika movement and highlighted the superfood moringa. Avoiding junk food and high-fat diets is another major focus.”

She additional added, “Our recipes have been shared with the government of India, and visiting teams have appreciated them. However, we welcome all suggestions from citizens to improve and enhance the SNP in Punjab. We are available 24/7 to receive comments, suggestions, and ideas from other places and best practices.”

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