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Hyderabad: Women and Child Welfare Minister Satyavathi Rathod lashed out at the Opposition parties for a well-planned and malicious campaign against the K Chandrashekhar Rao government in Telangana through misleading statements in Parliament. She clarified that the State government was supplying fortified rice and also wheat to all the Anganwadi centres in Telangana.

She was reacting to statements by union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and Congress MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy during Question Hour in the Parliament recently. “Both the question by the MP and the reply by the union Minister were phrased to give an impression that Telangana was not supplying fortified rice and wheat to Anganwadi centres which is false. They both spoke blatant lies on the floor of the House,” the Minister said.

Speaking to mediapersons at TRS Legislative Party here on Sunday, Satyavathi Rathod said since Smriti Irani became a union Minister, she never spoke on numerous schemes being implemented jointly by the Central and State governments for the welfare of women and children. She reminded that the union government had no policy with regard to ICDS since its inception in 1975. “The Centre does not have a policy to decide recruitment, salary and retirement of Anganwadi teachers. But the Telangana government is implementing retirement and would soon come up with a complete policy,” she added.

Further, the Minister explained that wheat supplied by the Centre was never directly given to the beneficiaries even in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. Instead, the wheat was being processed and mixed with sugar, oil, milk powder and pulses supplied by the State government to prepare ‘Balamrutham’ in association with National Institute of Nutrition and ICRISAT. The same was being supplied to all Anganwadi centres to as a nutrition supplement.

“We are supplying millets as well. While the Centre is providing nutrition kits for only two districts in the State to be distributed among women suffering with anaemia, the Chief Minister directed us to distribute them in nine districts on behalf of the State government. As against the Centre paying a monthly honorarium of Rs 2,700 to Anganwadi teachers, the State government is paying an additional Rs 10,950 i.e. a total of Rs 13,650 to them,” she pointed out.

Rythu Bandhu Samithi chairman Palla Rajeshwar Reddy and MLC Surabhi Vani Devi also spoke.

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Author: Howard Caldwell