Editorial: Transforming Anganwadi Centres

2 mins read
Anganwadi Centres

The Legitimate      Anganwadi Centres

The State Administrative Council led by Governor Satya Pal Malik continues to restructure the institutions in state. He has in past restructured many institutes which had turned liability on state government and were continuously incurring huge burden on state exchequer despite having huge potential to contribute to the state’s prosperity and progress.

In continuation of his efforts, the SAC decided to restructure the socioeconomic welfare schemes of state on the modern lines. As per this new policy, the government has decided to transform the anganwadi centres across Jammu and Kashmir into state-of-the-art Model Community Facilities for children and mothers in the State.

This mega programme was unveiled by the Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Rohit Kansal at a review meeting of the ICDS.

The aim of reformation is to ‘Decentralized Policy for Procurement of Supplementary Nutrition’ under ICDS to bring transparency, accountability and greater involvement of community in the implementation of the scheme.

 According to him 50 existing Anganwadi Centres in each district would be, in the first phase, transformed through convergence with MGNREGA into Model Anganwadi Centres with upgraded infrastructure and improved amenities like toilets, drinking water and hygiene.

These centres will be then replicated at other Anganwadi Centres in the State to change the face of the Government’s 44-year-old children and women-oriented program for efficient delivery of ICDS.

Under ICDS, supplementary nutrition is provided to children in the age group of 0-6 years and to pregnant/lactating mothers with main objective to fight the problem of malnutrition.

The child nutrition scheme in the state along with other states of the country is in vogue for over 44 years.

Unfortunately, the scheme despite receiving huge financial support from the centre government continuously failed to serve its purpose on ground. However, it has always been in news for gross irregularities and corruption. It has only done good of the successive regimes who exploit the common people and approved anganwadi centres on their political will instead following the norms to serve its purpose. Moreover, the recruitments were also done on the political recommendations thus killing the real cause of the scheme. Beyond the political interests, the scheme for its reformation and making it a real success on ground, all the governments till this day did not take any pain to restructure the scheme as per the needs and demands. In India, the children with huge number are suffering with malnutrition since their families can’t afford a nutritious food for them. In Jammu and Kashmir where the poverty level is under control, however, have also a good number of children who ill-afford the nutritious food for their children.

The decision of decentralizing the ICDS scheme has come at a time when the state government had already issued orders for Panchayats and municipalities to procure and purchase for the anganwadi centres within laid guidelines. The move was aimed to empower the panchayats and ensure community participation and ensure minimum intervention of bureaucracy.

There have been 141 projects running under ICDS in J&K covering 29599 Anganwadi Centres.

The official estimates suggest that upto June 2019, 779682 beneficiaries have been covered under Supplementary Nutrition Program in the State.

Now the merging of scheme with MGNREGA and providing the facilities to both mother and child at the centre is extremely a good step. In the far off areas it is unlikely to see the pregnant women aware of eating healthy and nutritious food. At most of the times, these women cannot afford at home. However, offering them space and support at the centres run by the government will ensure that every newborn in the state is healthy and wise.

Latest from Archives