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Odisha anganwadi wall collapse toll mounts

July 10, 2012 17:56 IST

The toll in anganwadi centre wall collapse in Nayagarh district of Odisha mounted to seven on Tuesday with the death of two more children as the state government sought report from all district collectors on safety of anganwadi buildings by July 13.

While Alisha Jena (5) died at SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, three-year-old Pradumnya Pradhan succumbed at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

"Collectors have been directed to submit report on safety of anganwadi centres by July 13," said Women and Child Development secretary Arati Ahuja adding the authorities were also told to shift centres which are in dilapidated stage.

Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said: "safety of all the schools and anganwadi centres would be inspected."

The wall of a room of the anganwadi centre operating in Nelia Upper Primary School campus at Suansia Sahi village collapsed on Monday when 11 children were inside it along with three adults -- a cook, a helper and the mother of a child.

The state government had suspended the headmistress of Nelia Upper Primary School and showcaused two anganwadi workers for not informing the authorities about the poor condition of the classroom.

A delegation of the Odisha Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association on Tuesday met Ahuja and demanded immediate withdrawal of suspension of two anganwadi Workers.

It said claimed the anganwadi workers had informed the  headmistress about the condition of the class room.

"This is not the first death of children at an anganwadi centre. Earlier a child had died at Bhograi in Balasore district due to roof collapse," alleged Sanghita Roy, a leader of the association.

"Had the government taken action immediately after the Bhograi incident, this one incident would not have happened," Roy told reporters after meeting the WCD secretary.

The state government has announced Rs one lakh ex-gratia for family of the each of the victims.

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