Chandigarh, Jan 28—Haryana has asked the Central Government to make changes in the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) to facilitate construction of such anganwadis as have kitchen-sheds, and are equipped with the facilities of drinking water and toilets.Financial assistance should be given to the states to do the needful.
Making this suggestion at the conference of state Ministers and Secretaries in charge, Women and Child Development, in New Delhi today, Haryana Health Minister, Mrs Geeta Bhukkal, said the ICDS should be revised to include the component of construction of
anganwari centres, and funds should be provided for the construction of kitchen-sheds.
“The Government of India is already providing funds at the rate of Rs 75,000 per kitchen-shed under the Mid Day Meal Programme. The ICDS caters to children up to six years of age. This group is even more tender and fragile and calls for at least same treatment by way of assistance under this component as provided under the Mid Day Meal Programme”,Mrs Bhukkal contended.
The Haryana Government, she said, had taken the initiative in this direction and provided funds for the construction of anganwadi buildings and making provision for drinking water and toilet facilities. During the year 2009-10 and 2010-11, a sum of Rs 85 crore has been earmarked for this purpose .
She told the conference how the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had rewritten the concept of anganwadis to make a new model, and introduced schemes aimed at bringing women and child development to the centre-stage.
“Haryana has brought about widespread changes in
conceptualization of angawadi centres and developed a new vision. We
have visualized anganwari as a place of attraction for the
stakeholders, namely children, lactating mothers and pregnant women.
In order to make anganwadi an attractive place, the state government
has spent a huge sum of Rs 90 crore in the years 2009-10 and
2010-11”, Mrs Bhukkal said.
Realising full well that hot cooked meals are essential for
maintaining hygiene, transparency and accountability, steps have been
taken for storing raw material in anganwadis. The state government has
introduced new recipes like Alloo-Puri, Stuffed Parantha, Meethe
Chawal, Gulgule and Sevian as hot cooked meals. It has been decided to
purchase pressure cookers for preserving nutrient contents of the
recipes, and saving energy.It has also been decided to provide gas-chullas to ensure hygienic conditions and making cooking easier. In the first phase, gas-chullas have been provided to 7,729 centres in 2010-11. Commissioners have been asked to get gas connections released to urban and semi-urban anganwadis for which funds have been released to field officers.
Besides, anganwadis have also been equipped with serving as well as cooking utensils. Colourful tables and chairs have been provided to
17,444 anganwadis at the cost of Rs 15.80 crore and swings to 6,500
anganwaris at the cost of Rs 4.11 crore.Giving importance to pre-school education, colourful and attractive pre-school education kits worth Rs 4.31 crore have been supplied to anganwadis for different age groups. Metallic bins have been purchased at the cost of Rs 6.5 crore out of the SNP funds for ensuring storage of foodgrains.
“This endeavour has started showing positive signs with regard to
quality meals served to the stakeholders, and their attendance in
anganwadi centres. While earlier, the stakeholders were being cajoled
to come to anganwadi centres, now they are themselves being drawn to
them”, Mrs Bhukkal said.
She complimented Mrs Krishna Tirath, Union Minister of State
(Independent Charge), Ministry of Women and Child Development, for
launching the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls
(SABLA) which would go a long way in ensuring holistic development of