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Anganwadi Services

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February 13, 2024

Why in news?

The Government of India incentivizes and encourages Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers, through various initiatives.

What is Anganwadi?

The meaning of the word ‘Anganwadi’ in English is "courtyard shelter".

  • Anganwadi Services is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented by States/UTs in India.
  • Coverage- Children in the 0-6 age group, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Established- In 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program
  • Need- To combat child hunger and malnutrition.
  • Anganwadi centre- It provides basic health care facilities in Indian villages as a part of the Indian public health-care system.
  • Basic health-care activities- It include contraceptive counselling and supply, nutrition education and supplementation, as well as pre-school activities.
  • The centres may also be used as depots for oral rehydration salts, basic medicines, contraceptives and child care.

What are the key components of Anganwadi services?

Components

About

Nutrition services

  • Provision of supplementary nutrition to children below six years of age, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
  • This includes nutritious meals, take-home rations, and other nutritional support.

Health check-ups

  • Regular health check-ups for children and mothers to monitor their health and growth.
  • Immunization services are also often provided at Anganwadi Centres.

Pre-school education

  • Early childhood care and education activities to promote the overall development of children.
  • It also includes cognitive, social, and emotional development

Health and nutrition education

Awareness programs on health, hygiene, and nutrition for mothers and caregivers to improve their understanding of essential health practices

Referral services

Identification and referral of children and mothers in need of specialized medical care or support services to appropriate healthcare facilities.

Community mobilization

  • Engagement with the local community to create awareness about health, nutrition, and early childhood development.
  • Anganwadi Workers play a crucial role in fostering community participation

Pregnant and lactating women support

Support and counseling for pregnant and lactating women to ensure proper care during these critical periods.

Services for adolescent girls

Programs targeting the nutritional and health needs of adolescent girls, including awareness about menstrual hygiene.

Record keeping

Maintenance of records related to the health and development of children and mothers attending the Anganwadi Centres.

What are the steps taken by government to encourage anganwadi workers and helpers?

  • Social Security Insurance Schemes- Insurance benefits have been extended to Anganwadi Workers and Helpers under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).

The coverage includes life risk, death due to any reason, accidental death, and permanent disability.

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package- Those engaged in Covid-19 related tasks, including Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, are provided insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh.
  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM)- States and UT Administrations are encouraged to enroll eligible Anganwadi Workers and Helpers under the voluntary and contributory pension scheme.
  • Ayushman Bharat Coverage- In the interim budget for 2024-25, the coverage of Ayushman Bharat has been expanded to include all Anganwadi Workers and Helpers across the country, providing health coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakh per family annually for secondary and tertiary medical care.
  • Promotional prospectus-
    • 50% of Anganwadi Workers positions- It will be filled by promoting Anganwadi Helpers with 5 years of experience.
    • 50% supervisor positions- It will be filled by promoting Anganwadi Workers with 5 years of experience
  • Leave policies- Anganwadi Workers are now entitled to a paid maternity leave of 180 days, paid leave for abortion/miscarriage for 45 days, and 20 days of annual leave.
  • Uniform provision- A provision has been made for a set of two uniforms (saree/suit per annum) for Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers.
  • Leverage IT through Poshan Tracker- It utilizes IT systems to enhance transparency and delivery support systems at Anganwadi Centres.
  • Anganwadi Workers have been provided with smartphones to facilitate the digitization and automation of their work.

Poshan Tracker is a mobile based application rolled out in 2021 through National e-Governance Division (NeGD) under Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0

  • Upgradation of Mini AWCs- Mini-Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) have been upgraded to regular AWCs, leading to an increase in the honorarium of Anganwadi Workers from existing mini AWCs to Rs. 4,500 per month.
  • Uniform retirement date- States and UTs have been urged to adopt a uniform retirement date of April 30th each year for Anganwadi Workers and Helpers for proper human resource planning.

 

References

  1. PIB- Incentives to anganwadi workers
  2. MoWCD- Integrated Child Development Services
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