Irregular or non-distribution of Take home Ration from Anganwadi Centre of West Bengal during January-May deprives thousands of children: A quick assessment conducted by SPAN on 44 Anganwadi Centre confirms the fact

The findings reveal that the monthly Take Home Ration (THR) distribution, which is a stipulated entitlement of the beneficiaries of Anganwadi Centres (AWC) to be provided by the government during the closure of AWC due to pandemic, has been irregular in nature. Having an overview of this irregularity during the first five months (January – May) of 2021, SPAN has undertaken a quick assessment of THR distribution during last five months (January – May 2021) of select 44 AWC from 4 districts of West Bengal (Jalpaiguri, Purulia, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts). The assessment was conducted during 25-31st May, 2021. The assessment has covered altogether 2262 AWC beneficiaries which include children of less than six years of age, pregnant mothers and nursing/lactating mothers. This assessment is limited in taking a very small sample and therefore it does not claim to present a holistic status of THR distribution from AWC in the state of West Bengal. But, even such small a sample, the finding raise concerns about the distribution THR which is of a paramount  necessity of the poor children to ensure their nutrition and food security in this pandemic time. The major findings are listed below for your kind consideration.
  1. Among the total AWCs surveyed 31.8 percent of AWCs not distributed any THR to any beneficiaries in the month of January, 77.3 percent not distributed any THR to any of their beneficiaries in the month of February, 95.5 percent of AWCs not distributed any THR to any of their beneficiaries in the month of March and 59.1 percent of AWCs distributed any THR to any of their beneficiaries in the month of May in the year 2021.
  2. Among the AWCs surveyed none distributed any THR to any of their beneficiaries in the month of April, 2021.
  3. Among the AWCs surveyed THR distributed as per government mandate (2 Kg of Rice, 2 Kg of Potato/1 Kg of Grams and 300 gm Pulses) only by 43.2 percent of AWCs in the month of January and by 11.4 percent of AWC in the month of February, 2021. No AWCs among the surveyed AWCs distributed THR as per government mandate in the month of March, April and May in the year 2021.
  4. In the year of 2021, 26 percent of the beneficiaries in the month of January, 84 percent of beneficiaries in the month February, 98.2 percent of the beneficiaries in the month of March, 100 percent of the beneficiaries in the month of April and 66.5 percent of the beneficiaries in the month of May DID NOT RECEIVED ANY TAKE HOME RATION (THR) FROM THEIR AWC.
  5. During the first five months (January – May) of the year 2021 only 58.7 percent of beneficiaries in the month of January and 10.4 percent of beneficiaries in the month of February could receive the Take Home Ration (THR) as per the Government Mandate (2 Kg of Rice, 2 Kg of Potato/1 Kg of Grams and 300 gm Pulses per beneficiaries per month).
It has been observed that the distribution of Take Home Ration once again resume in South 24 parganas district in the month of June but it is doubtful that the due ration for last five months will be distributed to the beneficiaries or not. National Food Security Act, 2013 says the supplementary nutrition which is replaced by the Take Home Ration during pandemic time is legitimate rights of the children of less than six years old, pregnant and lactating mother. It is unfortunate that they were deprived from this rights during last five months and that too in the time of pandemic when nutrition is much needed.  

Additional Allocation of Food Grain and Pulses as per PM Garib Kalyan not available in any ration shop in West Bengal

Finance Minister of Indian on 26th March 2020 announced Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to support poor families to fight against the Pandemic where she ensured extra quota of food grain and 1 kg of pulses per family from Public Distribution System Free of cost from April to June 2020. This benefits is only ensured for AAY and PHH beneficiaries. While prior to this announcement West Bengal Government announced to distribute regular quota of food Grain from Fair price shop to AAY, PHH, RKSY 1 and Special Package beneficiaries free of cost. The Fair Price shop started giving regular quota of ration as per state government announcement free of cost. But no fair Price shop is providing the additional quota of Food Grain and Pulses to AAY and PHH beneficiaries. This Span found in different urban and rural areas of West Bengal such as, Kamarhati, Tea Garden of Jalpaiguri, Jhalda and Baghmundi Block of Purulia, Khatra Block of Bankura and Basanti block of South 24 Parganas. While asked the Fair Price Shop answered there is no order. The poor community both of Rural and urban locality are deprived from the entitlements of additional quota of food grain and pulses which in this tough condition could make their life a little easy.

SPAN arranged food and shelter for 125 migrant labourer from Bengal locked down at Hariyana

SPAN was able to arrange food and shelter for 125 labourers including 40 children from different districts of West Bengal  who were stranded at Gurgao, Hariyana without any support. West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights and their counterpart at Hariyana helped to organise this support. 125 adult labourers alongwith 40 children from the districts of Nadia, Murshidabad and West Medinipur were working as labour in Khogaon village of Gurgao district of Hariyana. SPAN conllected their name and addresses from one of their home District Murshidabad and contacted with them. It hasbeen understood that they are staying their without money and food. Immediately SPAN contacted with West Bengal Commission for Child Protection (WBPCR) here in Kolkata and with their reference contacted their counterpart at Hariyana. On 13th April 2020 the Hariyana state government with help of an local NGO has arranged food and shelter for this group. Thousands of Migrant workers, many of them with their families and children, from different districts of West Bengal detained at their workplaces due to lock down caused by COVID 19 Pandemic. They were helplessly suffering without food and shelter. SPAN took effort to stand beside them by identifying them from their home districts and blocks, collecting the contacts and networking with Government departments of their destination states and districts. In this way SPAN could arrange food and shelter support for altogether 214 migrant labourers and 70 children who are detained in the states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Hariyana. They were from South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, West Medinipur and Nadia Districts of West Bengal. West Bengal Commission of Protection of Child Rights and their counter parts in different states also took big role in arranging support for these labourers.

International Womens’ Day – 2017

International Women's Day has been celebrated in SPAN (Society For Peoples' Awareness ) on 8th March 2017 at Kolkata and in Bankura district. In kolkata there are 4 places in front of Shyam Bazar Metro, Sealdah Rail Station , Bidhan Nagar Rail Station and Press Club at Esplanade SPAN celebarated the program in collaboration with Indian Youth Federation and Nari Shakti. The program was designed with drama and slogan on the day with theme #BE BOLD FOR CHANGE. In Bankura district the theme of the program was "Amra Dol Kori /Kintu fol pai koi?" that means the women group demanding their rights.The program had been organized in collaboration with Hirbandh Block , Bankura. A mass rally rounded the area followed by a cultural event.

Some glimpses of the day:

SPAN’s ‘Eco’-initiative on Earth-day

eco1You must have heard of the story of a boiling frog which was placed in cold water that is gradually heated. Before realizing what happened, the frog would get slowly cooked to death. This is the scenario of today’s world as well. Due to dangerous level of pollution, the atmosphere is getting adverse with each minute passed. If this tendency goes on, life on earth will come to an end in near future. This year on the occasion of World Environment Day, SPAN tried to send this message in a unique way. On 5th June, they organized a workshop in Kamarhati centre where 22 youth members from Kamarhati, Titagarh and Pramodnagar participated. The session emphasized in many aspects of environmental problems, right from e-waste to deforestation. But most important part of the workshop is the formation of Eco-club concept. According to UNEP, over the next decade the amount of e-waste being produced including mobile phones and computers could rise by as much as 500 percent in some countries, including India. Through man’s evaluation process, participants of the workshop are shown hazardous effect of this immediate threat from e-waste and other technologies. eco2 Statistics are equally horrifying in case of deforestation. Only between 2000 and 2012 2.3 million sq kilometers of forests around the earth were cut down. Urbanization at the cost of greenery is not at all acceptable. This message was also conveyed in that session. Hard heating facts were raised through a film. After the workshop, members planted saplings in the centre. To ensure the continuation of process, participants form Eco Clubs. These clubs consist of three members each. Representatives of these clubs will engage in environmental activities in their respective areas. General meeting would be held in frequent interval and representatives of those clubs will share their plan and work accordingly. After the session, participants’ appreciation speaks about the success of the workshop. On the backdrop of Paris Climate Deal, it is quite clear that only a day from the calendar could not change the scenario. Every day is important to keep life breathing on this planet. Eco club is just a tiny step to let the community aware round the year.

Regional Youth Conference

Some Flashes of Youth Conference at Regional Level:

Titagarh (18th May , 2016)

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Kamarhati (21st May, 2016)

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Pramodnagar (23rd May, 2016)

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Bankura ( 26th May,2016)

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Conference at Darjelling (10.06.2016)

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Rabindra Jayanti (রবীন্দ্র জয়ন্তী)

"আনন্দধারা"য় পালিত রবীন্দ্র জয়ন্তী

Rabindra Jayanti Celebration at Anandadhara

rj2   Rabindra Jayanti (রবীন্দ্র জয়ন্তী) is the day which marks the birth anniversary of the great scholar and novelist Rabindranath Tagore. Birthday of the noble laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore is celebrated on 25th day of Baisakh. In Kolkata, it is popularly called Poncheeshe Boishakh and is celebrated ceremoniously and jauntiness all across West Bengal.  
SPAN & Anandadhara like every year have celebrated 156th Birth Anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore (Rabindra Jayanti ) today. A Cultural program including poetry recitations, songs , dance are organized throughout the day in the memory of the great poet- Rabindranath. The whole program has been facilitated by the children of Anandadhara and Youth Groups of SPAN.

Youth Exposure Jalpaiguri

expo1The plan to design an exposure basically was undertaken by the youth councils at their respective areas and was finalised along with the SPAN mentors a month before 16th December 2015 when actually the team set off for DOOERS at Jalpaiguri.

Jalpaiguri as the destination was a natural choice to experience the forest and the Himalayan terrain in one hand and also to have an exchange programme with the ‘Koshish’ group, which is the Jalpaiguri based youth group mentored by SPAN at Jalpaiguri. The team of 40 youth assembled from Belgachhia, Kamarhati, Dum Dum and Barakpore on 16th December at Sealdah Station and boarded Kanchankanya Express to reach Matelli Block at Dooers by forenoon next day.expo2 The introduction between the Kolkata (the visitor) and the Jalpaiguri (the host) was anchored and facilitated by Mr. Tarak Majumder, District Coordinator. Seating arrangements were primarily made in a way to know each other each other and then a pair was made composing one volunteer each from two areas wherein each member will speak on her/his friend whom she/he had known only immediately! Having introduced to each other the youth members were found very jubilant. The energy that was generated and momentarily it appeared the host and the visitors were all waiting breathlessly to get the idea about the next actions.

expo3It was used appropriately by the facilitators and six teams were formed composing ten members in each team, which of course was a combination of visitors and host members together. The six issues e.g. Health, Education,Livelihood, RTE, Child labor and Trafficking were taken up by the six teams (one team would take up one issue only). Six situations in six tea gardens were decided and the teams were all ready to visit the gardens in the next day morning immediately after the breakfast.

The next day in the afternoon each team having returned from the gardens charged with very exciting experience and started presenting those in front of the full house of youth. The whole afternoon was extremely absorbing findings of the youth, which at a time were felt so unique, in a sense, that compilation of the same and sharing with other stakeholders might be of a great value. However, after this the Kolkata youth leaders composed of four members facilitated the Right to Participation workshop for their friends and it was equally absorbing and significant.The next day was the time to say good bye to each other and also the members from both visitors and host sat for couple of hours before that to draw a concrete plan of action as a way forward.The visitors also enjoyed the natural beauty of the tea garden setting with hills and mountains in the back ground. They also visited the ‘Gorumara National Park’ which is a sanctuary forest area. The feedback of the members were sought as a part of the evaluation which was designed and participated by the youth members only. It’s redundant to say finally that all were back home safely in due time. expo4


Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl the most beautiful planet in the universe all the continents and the oceans of the world united we stand as flora and fauna united we stand as species of one earth black, brown, white, different colours we are humans, the earth is our home. Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl the most beautiful planet in the universe all the people and the nations of the world all for one and one for all united we unfurl the blue marble flag black, brown, white, different colours we are humans, the earth is our home. "Earth Anthem" by Abhay K




SUNDAY ADDA An initiative where Youth do some fun at the same time learn something.The topic of this month is "7 wonders of the World". Youths have given the presentations in chart paper and a meaningful discussion afterwards. S1-1