Educating and looking after the well-being of young mothers is essential for a country like India to develop. Anganwadis in Karnataka and across the country is a mother and childcare development program sponsored by the government.
The program gets its name from the courtyards that traditional Indian homes are known for. This was traditionally a place for people of the house to gather.
Anganwadis – Quick Facts
The Anganwadi project was started in 1975 in an effort to fight against malnutrition and hunger faced by children in Indian villages. More than 40 years later, Anganwadis still provide basic healthcare and informal pre-school education.
- There are over 13 lakh mini-Anganwadi centers and Anganwadis in India
- There are over 62,580 Anganwadis centers and 3331 mini Anganwadi centers in Karnataka functioning under 204 ICDS projects
- There were 56.50 lakh under this scheme in 2017-18, 56.50
Objectives of the Integrated Child Development Services Program (ICDS)
The ICDS is the only national-level program aimed at addressing the needs of children under the age of 6 years. The program also addresses the needs of expectant mothers, nursing mothers, and adolescent girls. The objectives of this program are:
- To improve the nutritional status of children under the age of 6 years
- To lay the foundation for a child’s physical, psychological and social development
- To fight against malnutrition and reduce mortality rates and school dropout rates
- To aid in the implementation of social policies that promote child development
- To improve the young mothers’ capability to look after the developmental needs of their children.
Anganwadi workers help achieve the objectives.
Basic Services Provides By Anganwadis In Karnataka
The basic serves provided by an Anganwadi can be categorized as nutritional, health and pre-school educational services.
The nutritional services provided by an Anganwadi vary from state to state. In most places, a hot meal of cereals, mixed pulses, vegetables, etc. is available at the Anganwadi. In some places, ‘take-home rations’ are provided to children under the age of 3 years.
Children under the age of 3 years are weighed once a month at the Anganwadi to keep a check on their nutrition and overall health. Children older than this are weighed once in three months.
Nutritional and health education is also provided through counseling, demonstrations and home visits to women between the age of 15 and 45 years. This also covers sanitation, family planning, and infant feeding.
Immunization is one of the key health services provided by an Anganwadi. Children below the age of 6 years are immunized against polio, measles, DPT, and tuberculosis. Pregnant mothers are protected from tetanus through immunization.
After the child is born, antenatal care is provided for the mothers. The Anganwadi and the health department also maintain health records for these children. Cases of malnutrition and sickness are referred to Primary Health Centers.
The Anganwadis provide informal preschool education to children between the ages of 3 years and 6 years. This education is provided through play to encourage the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of a child.