S. Varalakshmi, president of the State unit of the Anganwadi Workers’ Assocation, has criticised the Union government for its move to privatise the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

“At a time when cases of malnourishment are on the rise, underlining the need for strengthening the ICDS, the Union government is reducing the budgetary provision for the scheme and trying to implement the scheme under private-public partnership. If adopted, it will not only affect the implementation of the scheme severely but also hit anganwadi workers, who have been implementing the scheme for years,” she said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Ms. Varalakshmi welcomed the move to direct panchayati raj institutions to contribute towards the ICDS.

Keeping in view all these aspects, the association had extended its support to the two-day general strike on February 20 and 21.