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How do Anganwadi's function?

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

The strategic technique leading to children's welfare began with the First Five Year Plan, when the Planning Commission determined to prioritize children's needs. Many child welfare programmes were launched as part of the five-year plans. These initiatives are focused on the educational, health, nutrition, welfare, and recreation requirements of children.

To fulfil the needs of antisocial, handicapped, destitute, and other categories of children, special programmes were established. Some of these programmes focused on the progress and development of children, particularly those in the 0-6 year old preschool age group. However, such child care programmes, with their minimal reporting and efforts, were unable to remedy the problem. As all-inclusive and integrated early childhood services were regarded as investment in the forthcoming economic and social progress of the country, it was sensed that a model plan which would guarantee the provision of maximum benefits to the children within a long-term should be enhanced. Consequently, a scheme for integrated child care services was initiated for implementation in all states.

In India, an Anganwadi is a sort of a rural child care centre. They began in 1975 as part of the Indian government's Integrated Child Development Services programme to tackle child hunger and malnutrition. In a community, an Anganwadi centre provides basic health care. It's a part of India's national health-care system. Contraception counselling is one of the most basic health-care actions, Pre-school activities, as well as nutrition education and supplementation. Oral rehydration salts, basic medicines, and contraceptives may be distributed from the centres, health check-ups and referrals, the last three of which are offered in collaboration with public health systems are also done.

The Anganwadi worker (AWW) is a health worker selected from the society. There are an estimated 10.53 lakh anganwadi centres employing 18 lakh workers across the country. The AWW is in charge of an anganwadi which includes a population of 1000. The Anganwadi worker (AWW) is the community based voluntary frontline worker of the ICDS programme. The AWW is chosen from the community, the role of these workers are considered imperative because of the close and incessant communications with the beneficiaries.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS):

ICDS aims to meet the health, nutritional and educational needs of the poverty stricken and disadvantaged infants, pre-school aged children, and women during their child-bearing time period. The main purpose of the ICDS scheme is to provide six basic services that are offered.

Supplementary Nutrition:

Women and children belonging to underprivileged and destitute families cannot afford healthy diet and experience problems in meeting their needs. The women are supported by a scheme that provides them with 300 days of free food every year. This is made available to the children who are below six years of age, nursing mothers and the expectant mothers.

Nutrition & Health Education:

Nutrition and health education is provided to women who are in the age group of 15 to 45 years. This applies mainly to expectant and nursing mothers. This will help them in the implementation of child rearing in a better way. The information will help with the maintenance of good health conditions. Immunization:

All infants staying at anganwadi centres should be vaccinated against BCG, DPT, Polio and Measles before they reach one year of age. All expectant mothers are also required to be immunised against tetanus for the first time in their lives.

Health Check Up:

Health check-up on a regular basis is important for young children as well as for expectant and nursing mothers. This includes antenatal care of expectant mothers, post-natal care of the nursing mothers, care of infants and of all the children who are below six years old. Referral Services:

Children who are suffering from third or fourth degree of malnutrition or illnesses are taken to the hospitals, progressed PHCs, community health services or district hospitals. Non-Formal Preschool Education:

The major emphasis is laid upon play, resourceful and creative activities that have the main objective of leading to psychological, intellectual and physical growth and development of the children. It is run by the National Council for the Education of the Republic of Ireland.

Roles and Responsibilities of Anganwadi Workers:

  1. Anganwadi Workers must carry out a quick survey of all the families, especially mothers and children in those families in their respective area of work once in a year.

  2. To weigh each child every month, record the weight graphically on the growth card, use referral card for referring cases of mothers/children to the sub-centres /PHC.

  3. To help in designing and making of toys and play equipment of indigenous origin for use in anganwadi.

  4. To bring to the notice of the Supervisors any development in the village which requires their attention and intervention.

  5. To maintain liaison with other institutions (Mahila Mandals) and involve lady school teachers and girls of the primary/middle schools in the villages.

  6. To guide Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) engaged under National Rural Health Mission in the delivery of health care services and maintenance of records under ICDS Scheme.

  7. Roles & Responsibilities of Anganwadi Helpers:

  8. To cook and serve food to the children.

  9. Daily cleaning of Anganwadi Premises and fetching clean, drinking water.

  10. To and fro transport of children from the homes to the anganwadi.

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