Early Scope

It’s boom time for anganwadis in TS

ICDS a big success in Telangana

Telangana’s anganwadis are a booming sector with close to 1.5 lakh young women opting for child care mandated by Integrated Child Development Services. This is the highest figure recorded in the region during the past five years when ICDS training improved across India by 12 per cent. 

As there are 35,700 anganwadis, the number of teachers and staff who are linked to the anganwadis are four times higher. The figure puts Telangana on a par with States including Kerala and Tamil Nadu where ICDS is a big success. 

The anganwadi centres also work as primary health and nutrition units in rural pockets where healthcare is rare. In the State, anganwadis work from 9 am to 4 pm to provide complete daycare for children whose parents work. Most children enrolled in anganwadi centres are those from poor socio-economic background. A total of 16.96 lakh children are benefited from 149 ICDS projects in the State. The centres also support 5.31 lakh pregnant or lactating mothers. 

Anganwadi intergration 

The positive growth in the child care structure is the result of carefully designed pre-school activities instituted by the State. Centres inculcate habits of hygiene and discipline by instilling these values conversationally through songs, stories and fames. Each day has two sessions on conversation, three sessions of action songs, two stories and two parts of creative activity. The activities are meant to create school readiness among children who are between three years and six years of age. Anganwadi worker is also expected to carry a report on Early Childhood Care and Education. 

“Regular meetings are held with parents. It is mandatory for anganwadi workers to meet parents each month,” said Shantha Kumari, an anganwadi worker from Karimnagar who attended a meeting of such workers in the city on Monday. The workers are also expected to be the point persons for Panchayat Raj institutions, adolescent girls and community members. 

In monthly meetings of anganwadi workers, the Women Development and Child Welfare Department department conducts two-hour long orientation on syllabus and practice. The meetings also discuss novel ways to conduct pre-school activities at village levels. According to another anganwadi worker Shilpa, “Parents are now interested in sending children to anganwadis as against mushrooming play schools as it keeps their wards healthy apart from making them school ready”. Anganwadis also provide lunch and snacks for students at no cost. 

Anganwadis had faced a shortage of teachers in 2005 with private sector employment absorbing young female community leaders.

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