States and UTs to open Anganwadi Centres outside containment zones before January 31st

The Supreme Court directed the Centre and states to issue monetary guidelines for nutritional support to Anganwadi centres. The three judge bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice M.R. Shah heard the plea filed by Dipika Jagatram Sahani seeking directions to the Centre, states and Union Territories to reopen all Anganwadi centres in the country which were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The court had issued notice to Centre, states and Union Territories and asked for their response on the matter. The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan has issued directions in response to a PIL asking Centre and sates for providing food and healthcare facilities to children and lactating mothers in view of closure of Anganwaadi centres due to Covid-19 situation in the country. The SC bench said that states must ensure that the food is provided to lactating women and children during the pandemic and that nutritional standards under the food safety law are maintained.

The court said the UTs and States must make arrangements of opening anganwadis before 31st January only after consulting their respective State Disaster Management Authorities.

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