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SC says to decide on the reopening of Anganwadi centers before January 31 | India News

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NEW DELHI: Noting that it is a legal obligation of governments to provide nutritional support to children and pregnant women belonging to the poor sectors of society, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered all states and UT to make the decision to open all Anganwadi centers outside the covid containment zone by the end of this month.
A three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah directed all states to ensure that nutritional standards under the National Food Safety Act are met when providing nutritional support to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children suffering from malnutrition. The centers were closed before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Time view

The coronavirus had forced the government to close anganwadi centers, the mainstay of medical care in India. Millions, especially the disadvantaged, depend on them. With Covid-19 relatively under control and vaccines scheduled to start in a few days, it’s time for them to reopen.

“The government has a constitutional obligation to preserve human life. The good health of its citizens is its main duty. International conventions also target the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. This is in the interest of social justice. The inadequate supply of nutritious food to citizens, particularly children and women, will affect their health, ”said the bench.
The court said that children should be given nutritious food and the anganwadi plans should be put into operation as soon as possible.
“Children are the next generation and therefore, unless and until children and women have nutritious food, it will affect the next generation and ultimately the country as a whole. No one can doubt that children are the future of our country and if there is any stinginess in providing them with adequate nutrition, the country as a whole is deprived in the future of taking advantage of their potential ”, he said.

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