Sandeshkhali Maa Saroda Women & Rural Welfare Society has been working in Sundarban area since 2009 in the field of Women Empowerment, Education, Health, Drinking Water, Livelihoods, Environment, and Relief etc. Our Volunteers are working in grass root level to understand the problems facing the peoples of Sundarban. After identification the problems, we try to solve the problems in our own limited capacity. We found the many problems like quality of education of local students is very poor, quality of health service is not sufficient with compare to demand, infrastructure of educational institution is not good for the students. The local newspaper “ Ananda Bazar” published this type of problems many time. But no change came to see.
We know that the ICDS center is the key institution of children (0-6) and mothers. But the condition of ICDS center of Sundarban is not so good for child education and mothers.
Sandeshkhali-I block of North 24 Parganas of West Bengal has 351 ICDS center and maximum numbers has no own building. The center is going on at rented house or open place. On the other hand the maximum numbers of Government ICDS building is not in a good condition. Some of them have no roof, no water supply, no toilets and no light system. We found an ICDS No-25 building at this place where the number of students including mothers is 86 but it has no safe room for reading the children.
There’s only one room without roof, Kitchen room, water supply and light is standing for 86 numbers of beneficiaries. On the other hand the helper of the ICDS meter walk long distance for collecting water to cook the food for the children. The water may be from open pond or normal tube well. The water is not safe for the children because the water contain saline and iron maximum which is not fit for children body.
There are no toilets for children, the children go in open areas which is unhealthy for them. Mothers face the said problems maximum time. When they need to use toilets, they go there home or others home nearby walking the long distance which is unfit for pregnant mother. This is big problems for the mothers.
There is no electricity in most of the ICDS of Sandeshkhali-I Block. At the time of rainy reason the sunlight becomes low and the students and mothers suffers from light. There’s high chance of insects falling in cooked meals and the food will eventually become poisonous.
We discussed with the local administration like Child Development Officer, Block Development officer about the situation of this center. Where we came to know that many ICDS workers submitted the written report regarding the present position of their ICDS center.
The worker of ICDS No-25 also informed the authority regarding her ICDS condition but due to fund unavailability, the Government is unable to construct it. We asked for permission for the reconstruction of the said ICDS No-25 with our own capacity. The Child Development officer of Sandeshkhali-I Block agreed to give us permission for reconstruction of ICDS No-25 and request us to construct more ICDS CENTER building in future.
After getting the permission we discussed with Sub-Assistant Engineer of Block Development office of Sandeshkhali-I for making layout and budget. He visited the area and advised us to construct separate building for kitchen. We agreed and asked the total budget of it. He made it within 7 days and handed over the same to us. After that we discussed with local mason and understand the estimated time to complete the ICDS main Building and Kitchen Room and 2 nos of toilets.
Then we called the plumber for getting an estimate for a submersible deep bore wells with 1000L water trunk and 4 numbers of tab. He provided the estimate within 2 days. Then we called a solar company for providing 1 Kw solar estimate. He provide it in same day. After that we called a painter for getting painting budget. After getting total estimate from Engineer, Mason, Plumber and solar company and painter we added the estimate and made approximate budget for this Project.
We approached many people and corporates to support us for reconstruction the said building. After getting some funds from Corporates we started the work. At first we destroyed the old damaged building and clear the area and start the reconstruction work. To reduce the labour cost, our volunteers used their skilled with the mason. The total worked completed within 3 months and inaugurated it for children and mothers.
We drew some pictures and letters at the wall of ICDS center so that the children may attract with it. We distributed 6 pcs of written pad, one box color pencil, one box wood pencils, pens, one steel dish, one bati, one spoon among the children. We also took initiative for another 2 numbers of ICDS center where the problems are the same. So many ICDS are in bad condition. We will try our best to renovate or reconstruct it for the benefit of children and mothers.