Under the restructured Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Anganwadi Centres (AWC) would be developed as the first village outpost for health, nutrition and pre-school education.
After the Cabinet approval for the restructuring of ICDS, the Women and Child Development is to revamp the Anganwadi programmes.
The restructuring is to be initiated by constructing 2 lakh AWC buildings across the country by the ICDS. Another 2 lakh building will be constructed with the help of MGNREGA of Rural Development Ministry. There are around 14 lakh AWCs in the country, most of which are being run in private houses or community centres like panchayat bhavans.
The ministry has also revised rents of the AWCs to hire accommodations where basic facilities for lactating and pregnant mothers could be provided.“From a feeding centre, we want to convert AWC into a vibrant Early Childhood Care and Development Centre,” said Minister of State for Women and Chid Development Krishna Trirath while talking to mediapersons on Friday.
“Through revamped programme we want to attain three main outcomes, prevent and reduce young child under-nutrition (percentage underweight children 0-3 years of age ) by 10 percentage points, enhance early development and learning outcomes in all children 0-6 years of age; and improved care and nutrition of girls and women and reduce anaemia prevalence in young children, girls, and women by one fifth,” said the minister.
Besides construction of AWC buildings, new components have been introduced in the scheme including AWC-cum-creche for working women, Anganwadi Workers-cum-nutrition Counsellors in select areas, united fund for innovation and for children for special needs, introduction of Sneha Shicvirs for under-nourished children. The ministry has revised the amount spent on Supplementary Nutrition Program by Rs 2 for every categories of children and pregnant and lactating mothers.