Enumeration is under way in the State to identify beneficiaries of the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA), a Centrally-sponsored programme aimed at enabling under-nourished and out-of-school adolescent girls belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families for self-development and empowerment.
Though the Centre has prescribed November 30 as the last date for enumeration, it may take a few more weeks to complete the baseline survey, a senior official says.
The SABLA is being taken up in 200 districts initially. Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, Ramanthapuram, Madurai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Chennai and Kanyakumari are among these districts.
The official says the selection of the districts was done by the Central government. Once the enumeration is over, the training component of group leaders (‘Sakhis') and assistant group leaders (‘Sahelis') will be taken up.
The scheme will cover adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years under all Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) projects. To give appropriate attention, the target group will be subdivided into two categories — 11-14 and 15-18 years.
It focusses on all out-of-school adolescent girls who will assemble at anganwadi centres (AWC) as per the time table and frequency decided by the States/Union Territories. School-going girls will meet at the AWCs at least twice a month and more frequently during vacations/holidays, where they will receive life-skill education, nutrition and health education.
This will give an opportunity for mixed group interaction between school-going girls and out-of-school girls, motivating the latter to join schools.
An integrated package of services will be provided to the girls.
The services include nutrition provision, iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation, health check-up and referral services, nutrition and health education (NHE), counselling/guidance on family welfare, child care practices and home management, life skill education and vocational training for girls aged 16 and above under the National Skill Development Programme (NSDP).
Each girl will be given supplementary nutrition (SN) containing 600 calories, 18-20 grams of protein and micronutrients per day for 300 days in a year.
The out-of-school girls in the age group of 11-14 years attending AWCs and girls in the age group of 15-18 years will be provided SN in the form of Take Home Ration (THR) on the lines of what is being provided to pregnant and lactating mothers.
The official adds that the cost of providing nutrition will be shared equally between Central and State governments.
If required, the resources of State Education and Health departments will be tapped.