Last week, Sunday Mid Day reported the story, ‘Will you send your children to this school’, dated June 3, of an anganwadi, decrepit with crumbling walls in Dolara village, Thane. About 130 children from Dolara village attend this anganwadi, which was started in 1992 by the government-run Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme.
The report highlighted its condition. After SMD published the story, the local Zilla Parishad has sanctioned a fund to repair the structure. Throughout the week, this newspaper received numerous inquires from Mumbaiites who want to do something for the anganwadi students. Some have even contacted Varsha Gaikwad, minister for Women and Child Development, to know how they could donate for the cause.
“I was amazed to receive numerous phone calls from SMD readers, who expressed their desire to help the anganwadi. I will ask the local Gram Panchayat officials early next week to make proper records and acknowledge any receipt of public charity,” Gaikwad confirmed. She says she plans to personally monitor the usage of funds by public contributions, so as to ensure it does not fall into wrong hands.
The ICDS office has already sanctioned Rs 89,000 to carry out urgent repairs, which include changing of roofs, replacing broken doors and windows, and redoing the flooring at one of the two anganwadis that were featured in the newspaper, said Dr Suchitra Thorat, ICDS officer and Deputy CEO, Thane rural.
“I have sent a request to find the reports to confirm that the second angandwadi falls under the zilla parishad. Reminder letters have been issued to the officials to ensure that work is completed before month’s end,” she added.