Is Narmada water being made to flow in Sabarmati not supplied to city of Ahmedabad? This has furthered the idea of river...
I have been selling glass for commercial buildings talking about light, thermal/solar heat gain etc.etc..but I...
Dear Saxena ji,
Thank you for inquiry.
West facing windows can be a big source of heat, first measure which you...
There has been an animated debate
in the past three years over the
supply of food in the ICDS
(Integrated Child Development
Services) programme. Supplementary
nutrition has been provided to all
children under the age of six since the
inception of the programme more than
three decades ago. This was done with
the recognition that the nutrition gap
(between what children should be consuming
every day and what they actually
have) is more than 500 calories.
This is one of the reasons for the
high incidence of child malnutrition in
India: 46 per cent. This is double the
malnutrition rate of sub-Saharan Africa,
and has registered a mere 1 per cent
decline between 1999 and 2006.
The fact that this rate of child
malnutrition persists in the second
fastest growing economy makes it all the
Till a few years ago, the entire
supplementary nutrition programme
was borne by the state government.
States were, therefore, given the
freedom to decide on the mode of
procurement and distribution of food
in the ICDS centres. Barring a few notable
ex ceptions, most states used private
contractors to procure and distribute
food. The quality was greatly
compromised and more
often than not food did
not reach the ICDS
It was well
known that contracts
were given to
private players who
greased the system.
contractor nexus was
This led to the
Supreme Court order of
October 7, 2004, banning
the participation of private
contractors in the programme
and directing that
funds for supplementary
nutrition be given to mahila
mandals, women's self-help gro ups and
The logic of the move was fairly
simple. Feeding children was not rocket
science, and surely communities would
be able to provide hot,
cooked meals to children.
funds would allow
keep a closer watch
on the food being
provided at the ICDS
centres, and, indeed,
increase their participation
in the programme.
It would also allow
make culturally appropriate food
choices. In any case, a hot, cooked meal
was already being provided in government
and government-aided primary
schools on the directions of the
Supreme Court. It could be replicated
|Many states supply food to
children through private
contractors, despite the
Supreme Court ban
The Supreme Court order was
deeply resisted by the political class
cutting across party lines as well as by
the vested interests within the
bureaucracy. Universalization of ICDS
has doubled the number of ICDS centres
across the country. This has also
substantially increased the budget
allocated to supplementary feeding,
thereby incr easing the stakes in the
programme for vested interests.
For the past three years, the
Supreme Court commission ers' office
and the Right To Food campaign have
been persuading state governments to
effectively decentralize the funds for the
supplementary nutrition programme.
The Supreme Court has also passed
interim orders to ensure compliance.
orders from the
Supreme Court and a
Cabinet decision in
2009, many states
continue to use
contractors for providing
nutrition. These states
include Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam,
Nagaland and Madhya Pradesh. In
many states where provisioning of
meals has been delegated to village
self-help groups, the problems of giving
them money on time and clearing their
dues remain the biggest bottlenecks.
Ensuring decentralization in the spi -
rit of the Supreme Court orders remains
a significant challenge for ICDS.
The author is the principal adviser to the Commissioners of the Supreme Court in the Right To Food case