Over 44,000 vacancies in the meal program, ICDS
More than 44,000 vacancies in various positions in the Nutritious Meals Program and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program could have an impact on schooling in Anganwadis and the provision of nutritious food to schoolchildren in the state. Although schools remain closed due to COVID-19, the impact will likely be felt when they eventually reopen.
While the number of vacant positions in the Nutritious Meal Scheme, which has a sanctioned strength of over 1.28 lakh positions, is 27,000, in the ICDS anganwadis which has approximately 1.04 lakh positions, it is of 17,000, said a source The Hindu. When schools reopened, there would be little time to fill more than 44,000 positions at a time.
PB Prince Gajendra Babu, secretary general of the State Platform for the Common School System – Tamil Nadu (SPCSS-TN), said vacancies should be filled immediately.
“We closed schools only because of the pandemic. You cannot expect the pandemic to continue. The government should try to get children to school. ICDS not only provides meals, but also provides nutrition for the children, ”he said.
Mr. Babu was also against distributing raw rice to students, as the whole family would consume the rice provided to the children due to poverty or the unavailability of jobs.
“How will you make sure that the particular child receives nutrition every day? Why can’t you just let the meal centers run and allow the children to eat and go home? All precautionary measures can be taken. They should not wait for the end of the lockdown, ”he said.
Organizers of nutritious meals, cooks, their assistants, anganwadi workers, mini-anganwadi workers and anganwadi assistants are not paid according to the normal state government salary structure, but are granted a special pay schedule. .
When contacted by The Hindu, a senior official confirmed the number of vacant positions in these schemes. “The government is keen to fill these positions. We will ask district collectors to fill these positions as soon as possible. Moreover, the DMK, in its electoral manifesto, indicated its desire to strengthen the nutrition of schoolchildren.