Govt plans to upgrade 2.5L anganwadi centres in 5 years

Govt plans to upgrade 2.5L anganwadi centres in 5 years

The objective is to make anganwadi centres interactive and "more child-friendly" by providing additional facilities like creche as well as smart teaching and learning aid. DH Photo

The government is planning to upgrade services with facilities like creche and smart teaching/learning aid at about 2.5 lakh anganwadi centres across the country in the next five years, senior Women and Child Development Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Currently, a total of 13.77 lakh anganwadi centres are operational in the country with a strength of 12.8 lakh workers and 11.6 lakh helpers, as per the official data. "The ministry is planning to initiate 'Saksham Anganwadis'. A total of 2.5 lakh anganwadis will be upgraded in the next five years," Additional Secretary in the Women and Child Development Ministry Ajay Tirkey said at an event here.

It is still at a planning stage and is being discussed at multiple levels in the government. After getting necessary approvals, it will be implemented most likely next year, he told PTI on the sidelines of the event.

The objective is to make anganwadi centres interactive and "more child-friendly" by providing additional facilities like creche as well as smart teaching and learning aid, he added. The ministry is mulling over upgradation at a time when some of the anganwadi centres in the country do not even have toilet facilities and drinking water supply. "A total number of 3,62,940 anganwadi centres do not have toilets facilities and 1,59,568 anganwadi centres do not have drinking water facilities," Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani had informed in her reply to the Lok Sabha on December 13.

The official also highlighted the progress made in the implementation of the 'POSHAN Abhiyan' (National Nutrition Mission) that aims to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight babies. The Mission strives to achieve a reduction in stunting from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.

Asserting that India is fighting the war on malnutrition aggressively, the official shared a recent comprehensive nutrition survey that found that the level of stunting has come down to 34.7 per cent. On the occasion, the government's Food and Nutrition Board signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with private entity Tasting India for carrying out activities to promote nutrition across the country. 

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