The details of this development was disclosed by the Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi who gave away National Level Awards to anganwadi workers to recognize their exemplary voluntary service in the field of child development and related areas under the ICDS Scheme, at New Delhi yesterday.
The Awards for the year 2016-17 were given to 51 awardees today. These awards are given annually.
Maneka Gandhi said that till now, the role of anganwadi workers revolved around mainly distribution and provision of food to children and lactating mothers.
However, the minister added that, the Government is now shifting the emphasis to covert anganwadis into centres of pre-school education. As a result, a massive exercise is being launched to train the anganwadi workers to become pre-school teachers, the WCD Minister disclosed.
There are currently about 27 lakhs anganwadi workers and helpers at 14 lakhs anganwadi centres across the country.
According to PTI, the Ministry officials said they have figured out alternative ways of distributing food so that the anganwadi workers can focus more on imparting education which is crucial for the development of a child.
Maneka Gandhi, alleged that the Anganwadi workers have been "misused" for over four decades as they were made to work for elections and attend political meetings and even greet VIPs, which was banned after she took over.
Speaking on the occasion, Maneka Gandhi congratulated the awardees and urged them to keep up their dedication to the cause of child development, community mobilization and awareness generation while delivering the ICDS Services.
Earlier addressing the Anganwadi workers, Minister of State for Women & Child Development, Krishna Raj said that the Anganwadis can contribute to the Swachh Bharat Mission in a big way. This can be done by connecting nutrition to cleanliness i.e. providing nutrition to children and lactating mothers in a clean environment. She urged the awardees to become an example for other functionaries and to motivate them to deliver better quality ICDS Services.
"Some of the recent initiatives taken up in this regard include pan-India expansion of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, electronic transfer of honorarium of anganwadi workers, guidelines for ECCE, food fortification, e-learning portal of WCD Ministry among many others," he said.
(With Inputs from PTI and PIB)
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