National

States told to display names of Integrated Child Development Services beneficiaries

With a view to checking pilferage and ensuring that supplementary nutrition reaches those it is meant for, names of all beneficiaries covered under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme will now have to be displayed at panchayat offices and anganwadi centres.

The Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) is intended for women and children, beneficiaries under the ICDS scheme — one of the country's flagship programmes implemented through the States and Union Territories for all children in the age group of 0-6 and pregnant and lactating mothers, irrespective of their economic status.

Union Women and Child Development (WCD) Secretary Neela Gangadharan has asked for the display of the list of beneficiaries at regular intervals for a reality check. People must be made aware of such a list through newspaper publicity, she said.

Importantly, the food packets supplied under the programme will also carry a prominent advisory that it is meant as supplementary nutrition for the children below 6 years in the anganwadis and that its diversion for any other purpose is illegal and unethical.

States will also have to devise a web-based system by which the despatch and delivery of food packets may be uploaded by manufacturers on the website of the State WCD Department indicating the movement of supplies to various anganwadi centres and the dates on which they have been delivered to enable the department to track the utilisation.

In addition, review meetings will also have to be held at regular intervals at the district level so that the ICDS scheme achieves its intended objectives.

It is imperative that the scheme is visible and the benefit reaches the target, Ms. Gangadharan said.

Unique programme

Launched in 1975, the ICDS scheme represents one of the world's largest and most unique programmes for early childhood development. It is India's response to the challenge of providing pre-school education on the one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality on the other.

It aims to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the 0-6 age group; to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child; to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropouts; and to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.

Package of services

These objectives are sought to be achieved through a package of services like supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-up, referral services, pre-school non-formal education and nutrition and health education at over 14 lakh anganwadi centres across the country run by one or more anganwadi workers and a helper

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 2:25:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/states-told-to-display-names-of-integrated-child-development-services-beneficiaries/article3429670.ece

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