VICTORY !!!-Agreement with Christy Friedgram cancelled #Goodnews


Bageshree S., Bangalore , The Hindu

Government Order  issued in the light of ‘several instances of lapses’

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories.— FILE PHOTO: M. Subash

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories.— FILE PHOTO: M. Subash

The controversial agreement between the Women and Child Welfare Department and Christy Friedgram Industry on supply of supplementary nutrition food to anganwadis has finally been cancelled in the light of “several instances of lapses”.

The Government Order (GO) of May 31 admits that there had been serious flaws in the execution of the agreement by the company, ranging from deviously retaining control over Mahila Supplementary Nutrition Production and Training Centres to flouting stipulated standards in maintaining quality of food supplied to anganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

While the department officials previously maintained that company was not hired as a contractor for food supply but only as a capacity builder, the Government Order makes it clear that it (the company) had indeed been indirectly working as contractor.

As per the April 2009 agreement, the company was to set up mahila training centres and train the staff to work completely independently before May 2012. These centres were to produce nutritional food, package and supply it to anganwadis for feeding children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

“Even after three years, the mahila training centres are not capable of working independently,” says the Government Order.

The members of these centres are neither technically nor administratively competent, according to the Government Order.

More importantly, it admits that the company continued to have control over the mahila training centres even though the company was only meant to hand-hold them.

It says that the project facilitators were employees “in the pay of the company” and the raw material too continued to be supplied by the company.

“Rather than procure material from the local market, items such as sambar powder, ragi malt and high protein mix were supplied from units set up by the company in Nelamangala, Davangere and Gulbarga,” the Government Order says and adds that the setting up of these units was not brought to the attention of the department.

Low quality

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories and used colours that were not permitted.

An earlier inspection had found that there was no hygiene maintained and food contained ‘coliform bacteria’. Contrary to the terms of the agreement, the food quality and infrastructure was not certified by a competent authority.

Several of the mahila training centres have been running under loss, which again is the responsibility of the capacity builder, and the government has been giving them loans of Rs. 10 lakh each at an interest rate of four per cent, in an attempt to help them revive.

Child rights and civil society organisations have for long been campaigning against the company being involved in the supply of food to anganwadis, pointing to several loopholes now admitted in the Government Order. Cases of child malnutrition in the State had further fuelled this controversy.

Three officials, the former Director of the Department Shamla Iqbal, Deputy Director Usha Patwari and Assistant Director Muniraju, are being investigated by the Lokayukta in connection with the scam.


  • The company was supplying supplementary nutrition food to anganwadis
  • Under the agreement, it was to have set up mahila training centres

 

Horrible week for Karnataka students: Girl made to beg by Father , two dead


Bangalore, Ndtv : A father forced his daughter to beg on streets for not studying well, another girl committed suicide as a question paper leak led to an exam being rescheduled and a school-going boy was brutally murdered -the week began on a horrible note for students in Karnataka.

The bizarre way of disciplining the 13-year-old class 7 student took place in Mysore, 130 km from Bangalore, while the body of a class 12 student was found hanging from a ceiling fan of her hostel room in Davangere, about 260 km from Bangalore.

The brutal murder of the boy, studying in class 8, happened in Bangalore. The naked body of the boy bore eight stab wounds.

In the Mysore incident that took place late on Monday a man identified by police as Prakash, working as a technician in a city hospital, sat in a car belonging to his friend opposite the temple where he watched his daughter beg.

The incident would have gone unnoticed if the girl was not in her school uniform, police said.

Visitors to the temple were surprised to see a girl in school uniform begging and some questioned her persuading her to tell her story, police said.

Prakash was arrested and later released by a Mysore court on bail. The girl was taken to a government shelter home.

On Tuesday an official of the shelter home accompanied her to the school to sit for exams.

Though the girl has expressed her desire to go back to her father, this will be done only after counselling both and once the authorities of the government home are satisfied, police said.

In Davangere, the body of Neetu Umapati, was found hanging from a ceiling fan of her hostel room on Tuesday.

Police said her classmates told them that apparently she took her life as she had become nervous after the rescheduling of the mathematics examination following a question paper leak.

The class 12 students in the state have been having a hard time this year as question papers of at least three subjects have been leaked forcing rescheduling of the exams.

The death of Neetu was raised in the assembly on Tuesday but Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said police had informed him that the suicide had nothing to do with the postponement of the examination.

He, however, expressed anguish over the death and urged students and their parents not to get agitated over question paper leaks and rescheduling of examinations.

In Bangalore, the body of class eight student E. Abhishek was found on Tuesday with eight stab wounds, police said.

The murder was committed on Monday evening, they said adding that they are questioning four boys of his age-group as he was last found talking to them.

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