Mumbai, 19th October 2022: Payments have not been made to women’s self-help groups that provide fresh, healthy food at home to children visiting Anganwadis, as well as pregnant or lactating mothers, for 10 months. Due to this, the Diwali of the self-help groups in the state will be dry. Despite the availability of Rs. 90 crores in funds, the women of these groups have to work in the office of the Women and Child Development Commissioner.
The Department of Women and Child Development provides hot and fresh food to pregnant mothers, lactating mothers, and children aged three to six years, who come to Anganwadi. For this, women’s self-help groups have been given the task of supply.
After rendering this service for a month, women’s self-help groups submit the expenditure payments to the Child Development Project Officer. Payments are made through the Deputy Chief Executive Officer in rural areas, after final approval by the Women and Child Development Commissionerate in urban areas. Payments have not been made for 10 months. For this, the central and state governments distribute 50 percent of the funds each. Currently, about Rs 90 crores are present in funds. The central government has asked the states to follow the system of direct deposit of funds into the accounts of the cooperatives in December 2021. Accordingly, self-help groups have registered as such. However, the women who run the self-help groups allege that the manipulation is being done for some technical reason.
‘’Self-help groups have started to collapse after Corona. Even after visiting the Commissioner’s office, the payments were not received,” said Sanjyot Date, Adarsh Mahila Self-Help Group, Thane. Vaishnavi Sawant, Vaishnavarani Women’s Self-Help Group, said, ‘’Payments have been made up to December 2021. After that, no payment has been received to date.’’ ‘’After receiving information about this, we will take immediate action,” said Mangalprasad Lodha, Minister of the Women and Child Development Department.