Anganwadis in UP set for a makeover with UNICEF support
Lucknow, Sep 19 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government, in collaboration with UNICEF, has rolled out Anganwadi Kayakalp (AK) scheme with the aim to make quality education accessible to children living in rural areas.
The scheme aims to make 1.86 lakh Anganwadi Centres in the state more child friendly.
Catering to children from birth till 6 years of age, Anganwadis are one of the main providers of early nutrition, healthcare and childcare for the marginalised sections.
While they are effectively enabling nutrition and health services, they often fall short in providing quality early education for children before they enter formal schooling in grade 1.
Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) director Sarneet Kaur Broca said, “The transformation will be done around 18 indicators, including provisions for child-friendly toilets, urinals, group hand wash units, ramps with railing, provision of clean and safe drinking water, electricity, repair and renovation of existing structures and other basic amenities.”
Repair and renovation of existing structures will also be undertaken during the campaign.
All district programme officers (DPOs) of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) have been oriented on the concept, priorities, relevance, strategies, saturation planning and improvement actions of the scheme.
Women and child development and ICDS minister Baby Rani Maurya said, “The kayakalp of Anganwadi centres will play an important role in ensuring better facilities for children.”
An online assessment-cum-planning tool on 18 key kayakalp indicators with real-time dashboard has already been put in place by the education department and UNICEF.
“Clean and safe environment is the right of every child. Attractive Anganwadi centre and child friendly water and sanitation services will help in protecting children from diseases and malnutrition and attract children to the centre. All these facilities will ensure quality education, health and nutrition services for the child and contribute to his/her development,” said UNICEF’s Kumar Bikram.