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Whether Food & Education Is Being Provided To Children Below 6 Years In Anganwadis? Supreme Court Directs Centre & States To File Affidavits

Sanya Talwar
28 Nov 2020 12:20 PM GMT
Whether Food & Education Is Being Provided To Children Below 6 Years In Anganwadis? Supreme Court Directs Centre & States To File Affidavits
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The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre & States file affidavits on with regard to implementation of guidelines issued on operation of Anganwadi in the context of COVID-19."Let Government of India file a detailed affidavit with regard to implementation of the guidelines dated 11.11.2020. The States may also file an additional affidavit regarding the measures taken with regard...

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The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre & States file affidavits on with regard to implementation of guidelines issued on operation of Anganwadi in the context of COVID-19.

"Let Government of India file a detailed affidavit with regard to implementation of the guidelines dated 11.11.2020. The States may also file an additional affidavit regarding the measures taken with regard to guidelines dated 11.11.2020 issued by the Government of India," a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah directed.

The top court was hearing Public Interest Litigation seeking directions to provide food and healthcare facilities to children and lactating mothers, because the entire Anganwadi system has shut due to the lockdown.

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves also told Court that the entire Anganwadi system had been closed since March and no meal was being given. "Meal" which was given was a supplementary meal which had to be mixed with water. Court took noted the Senior Counsel's submission that that for small children, upto 6 years, neither food nor any education is provided. Apropos this, it was directed that regard to the above aspect also, in the additional affidavit, details may be given by the Union of India as well as by the States within two weeks.

The petitioner has submitted that functioning of all Anganwadi centres in the country came to a sudden halt and poor pregnant and lactating women and children were left in the lurch and hence sought a direction to the Centre, all states and UTs to conduct growth monitoring of children to record the growth in the wake of the after-effects of the pandemic, more particularly of malnourishment among children and anaemia in girl children and initiate corrective steps forthwith.

On the last date, the Centre had informed the Supreme Court that the Anganwadis have been doing a great job and have been providing supplementary nutrition to children every 2 weeks even during the pandemic.

Today Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Union of India submitted that all meals could not be served in Angadwadis because the Anganwadis have been closed in certain areas.

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