S&W deptt not adhering to guidelines: NPRAAF

DIMAPUR, JUL 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/5/2018 12:15:45 AM IST
Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has alleged that the social welfare department was neither following the Supreme Court direction nor adhering to the Government of India Guidelines in awarding the contracts for supply micronutrient fortified food under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
NPRAAF through its information & publicity cell cautioned the department that not following court order and not adhering to guidelines would invite persecution under the law. 
The Ministry of Women & Child Development, in a letter dated September 26, 2014 to all the States and Union Territories, sought strict implementation of the feeding norms while providing Take Home Ration (THR) under ICDS scheme.
The ministry had emphasized the need for procurement of supplementary nutrition food in accordance with the guidelines of the Government of India and in the light of the Supreme Court judgment. The ministry communicated to all the secretaries/incharge of ICDS that “bona fide manufacturer”, who fulfills the norms and standard laid down in the policy of government of India dated February 24, 2009 and direction of the Supreme Court on August 19, 2011, can be considered for supply micronutrient fortified food.
The Supreme Court judgment (2011) 9 SSC 340 also held that “The supplier is required to provide fine mix of all kinds of ingredients including the revised intake of proteins and calories to the precise level. In fact, the level of precision is earmarked for each kind of food. The concept behind the same cannot be permitted to be demonized by referring to it as food prepared by ‘automated machines’. The procedure adopted is necessary to ensure that there is ‘zero infection’ in the food which is going to be consumed by infants and children who are already under nourished. 
Further, the Government of India vide letter No. 5(25)2010-tech, dated 15.03.2012, communicated to state governments that safety standards should be strictly followed while providing Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) and that it was necessary to take adequate precaution and ensure that any food supplied through the ICDS system was safe and nutritious. It also emphasized it was necessary to be vigilant and anyone violating food safety and standards are booked and taken to task promptly. 
In this regard, NPRAAF has appealed to the social welfare department to implement all schemes under ICDS strictly adhering to the government of India guidelines. It also urged the department not take the matter lightly but take action.
Further, the forum appealed to the social welfare department to strictly implement all the flagship programmes under Wheat Based Nutrition Programme (WBNP) and National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
NPRAAF stated that under the programme the centre has allocated food grains at the subsidized price not exceeding Rs. 3 per kg for rice, Rs. 2 per kg for wheat and one rupee per kg for coarse grains.
Since the Nagas do not consume wheat, it said the Centre converted wheat into rice in addition to state’s share of rice. As such, the forum said there should be sufficient rice to distribute to the targeted beneficiaries.
NPRAAF pointed out that the ministry of women & child development has also enhanced the supply of rice to the state from 4061 metric ton to 5000 plus 5000 MTs of rice (converted from wheat) just in one quarter of fourth quarter allocation annually to Nagaland.
In this regard, the forum said that the state government should be in a position to distribute the food adequately. 
It also appealed to department to make good use of National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) fund to help the old age, differently abled and the poor.
Meanwhile, NPRAAF stated that it would submit a memorandum to social welfare department in relation to improvement in dispensation of ICDS/programme in the larger interest of the state and the targeted beneficiaries.

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