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 Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a centrally sponsored scheme run by the State Government through Anganwadi Centers. It is one of the most important schemes of the Government as it seeks to impact the health and well being of the most vulnerable groups of society. Under the scheme, the Central Government bears the full cost of meeting the operational requirements. The expenditure towards Supplementary Nutrition is borne by the State.

The main objective of the scheme is to improve the health and nutritional status of children in the age group 0-6 years, to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of children, to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school drop-out, to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional need of the child through proper nutrition and health education The care an infant receives at birth determines the chances of survival and lays the foundation of development throughout life.

Often the child's health and nutritional status is compromised before birth because the mother does not receive adequate care during pregnancy such as extra diet, rest, ante-natal checkup, iron supplementation and TT immunization. The lack of appropriate care of infants, children and their mothers is reflected in the widespread malnutrition in the State. According to NFHS

survey of 1998-99, by five years of age 54% of the children are underweight, 63% pregnant women and 81% children below three are anemic, approximately 86% tribal adolescent girls are suffering from anemia in the State. Under the scheme nursing and expectant mothers and women in the age group of 15-45 years are also covered.

The package of services under ICDS are :

  •   Supplementary Nutrition

  •   Immunization

  •   Health Check-up

  •   Nutrition and Health Education

  •   Non formal Education

These services are delivered by Anganwadi Workers (AWW) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWH) at a focal point in the village called the Anganwadi Centre (AWC). The other functionaries are the CDPO at Block level and Lady Supervisors in the middle level.

At present, this scheme is being run in 152 rural and urban blocks of the State wherein ICDS services are made available to pregnant and lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children up to age group of 6 years through a net work of 16689 Anganwadi Centres. 7,429 new AWCs will be operationalised shortly covering 52 more blocks.

The Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) is a very important component of the ICDS. Not only does it strike malnutrition at its roots by providing 300 cal and 10 gms of protein to children under 6 and a substantive 600 cal and 20 gms of protein to severely malnourished children, adolescent girls, pregnant and nursing mothers; but it also raises the food security of the poorest households.

Upto Nov. 2002, the CARE, an international NGO was providing free supplementary nutrition in the form of corn soyabean blend (CSB) and Refined Vegetable oil (RVO). This supply was suddenly stopped by CARE in Nov. 2002 and since then it is the state govt. that has to bear the financial burden of providing alternative food model to the eligible beneficiaries.

At present a combination 50g puffed rice, 15g jaggery and 25g gram sattu is given to beneficiaries which is a source of 300 calories and 8-10 grams of protein. At present, the procurement of this is done by the Deputy Commissioner through a contractor finalized through tender process .

 

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