|Smt. Krishna Tirath Presides over the First Meeting of National Mission Steering Group of ICDS |
|Smt. Krishna Tirath, Union Minister for Women and Child Development presided over the first meeting of National Mission Steering Group (NMSG) of the reconstructed ICDS, here today. |
Designated as the Nodal Platform for Nutrition Coordination linked to the PMs National Council on Indias Nutrition Challenges, the National ICDS Mission Steering Group re-affirmed the highest priority towards presenting and reducing maternal and child nutrition. Several states such as Gujarat, UP, MP, Rajasthan, Karnataka etc. have set up the State ICDS Missions and have taken several new initiatives to roll out the restructured ICDS with interventions such as Sneha Shivirs, construction of new Anganwadi Centres, ECCE etc.
The Mission Steering Group approved the increase in the honoraria of Anganwadi Workers of Mini Anganwadi Centers from Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 2250/-. This will benefit the workers of a total 1,16,000 sanctioned mini- AWCs in the country. The Mission Steering group also endorsed a major village contact initiative under ICDS restructuring to reposition AWC as a vibrant child- friendly ECD Centre belonging to women and the community. For this, fixed monthly Village ECCE days will now be observed in all AWCs across the country from 19th August, 2013. This will also take the proposed National ECCE policy to the village level.
In addition to this, NMSG reiterated the commitment to construct child-friendly Anganwadi Centres through the strengthened collaboration of Ministry of WCD with Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other Ministries and State Governments. NMSG appreciated the unique convergence initiative with MNREGA for AWC construction and provision of Crches and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare such as the Mother and Child Protection Card (MCPC).
In the view of the imminent promulgation of National Food Security Ordinance, NMSG was exhorted to step up efforts to universalize maternity benefits especially to reach those of the most deprived communities through scaling up of the Indira Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) linked to better health care. Besides, it also committed itself to intensify nutritional support to young children and pregnant and lactating mothers as per stipulations. NMSG also approved the action plan for Japanese Encephalitis/ Acquired Encephalitis (ES/AES) for 60 affected districts. This includes improved monitoring of feeding of children at the Anganwadi centers, special training to sensitise AWWs and their supervisers regarding the ES/AES and to provide additional THR to the under-nourished in the affected districts.
Speaking at the occasion, Smt. Krishna Tirath said that the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is a flagship programme of Government of India for the holistic development of the children which was launched in 1975 to address health, nutrition and development needs of young children and pregnant and lactating mothers (P&L). Over the years the scheme has been expanded with a view to universalize the programme so as to reach the benefits to the door steps of children in small clusters. However, universalization of the scheme has also brought with it huge challenges in terms of resources as well as challenges of management, delivery of services with quality and standards. Smt. Tirath said that in order to get the effective implementation of the reconstructed scheme of ICDS, the Ministry of Women and Child Development is looking forward to receiving the valuable inputs form the state ministers and the experts from various fields. She also asked the state Governments to immediately constitute the requisite committees at State level, District level and Block level and also ensure convergence of all stakeholders at various levels so that the scheme is implemented as envisaged in the restructured and strengthened ICDS. Smt. Tirath expressed concern about the under nourishment of the young children which needs to be prevented and reduced by 10% points, enhancement of early development and learning outcomes in all children under 6 years of age, improvement of nutrition of girls and reduction of prevalence of anemia in young children by 1/5th which form the goals for the restructured ICDS. She stated that the restructured and strengthened ICDS is being implemented in Mission Mode with flexibility, similar to the schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and National Health Rural Mission (NHRM).
Smt. Tirath also stressed upon the special needs for management of severely and moderately underweight children. The scheme provides for community based approach for prevention and management of moderate and severe under nutrition through organisation of Sneha Shivirs in selected areas where number of such children are high. The ANM/Doctor under the NRHM would be responsible for health check up of all underweight children reporting to Sneha Shivirs, said the Minister.
The Minister stated that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has also initiating a multi sectoral programme to address the maternal and child malnutrition in selected 200 high burdened districts. This programme will bring together various national programmes through strong institutional and programmatic convergence at the State/District/Block and Village levels. This programme is being initiated on the recommendations made by the PMs National Council on Indias Nutrition Challenges.
Ms. Nita Chowdhury, Secretary, WCD stated that with the universalisation of the ICDS scheme and the recent restructuring of the scheme, efforts are being made by the M/o WCD to make the scheme more effective by setting up sturdy structures and mechanisms of monitoring and supervising. The interaction with the members of the NMSG will help to deeply deliberate on various issues in this regard.
Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member (WCD), Planning Commission, Smt. Ranjana Bhagel, Minister (WCD) from Madhya Pradesh, Dr (Col) Dhaniram Shandil, Minister (WCD) from Himachal Pradesh other experts from various fields and senior officers from the member States and line Ministries were also present at the occasion.