India’s Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is the world’s largest early childhood development scheme. It has been running for the last 30 years providing supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-ups, non-formal pre-school education among other services.
Community Correspondent Abhishek Das finds that in many cases the Anganwadis, which are central to the functioning of the scheme, lack proper infrastructure. He reports on the condition of the Anganwadi centre in Pandelbehel Village, Nuapada District, Odisha.
The Anganwadi here does not have a building of its own and instead runs out of the primary school in the village. The lack of a proper space has hampered the activities, which are usually carried out for the mental and physical development of children from the ages 0-6.
“It does happen that for a few children the Anganwadi is run from someone’s house or in a school but once the number of children increases, there is a dedicated building. There are 18 children now and no sign of a proper Anganwadi centre. They have toys and equipment but no place to enjoy these”, says Abhishek.
“It’s not like there isn’t money to do the work, there is. But there is no co-ordination between the different departments that are involved. For example the Block office needs to make the building and hand it over to the ICDS department but there is no communication between the two”, says Abhishek.
Abhishek has worked long and hard on issues around children and education. He says they are the bright future of India.
“I think if we make more people aware of such issues, I really believe that there will be some change. This change will not just benefit these children but also many many more in the future” he says.
Call to Action: Please call the village head Ms Drupadi Rout on 07894524878 and pressurise her to ensure that a building s built.