4,000 Anganwadi centres to be modernised

New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) Skill enhancing programmes for women and e-learning modules and special play centres for children are among the new features being planned by the government as part of its plan to modernise nearly 4,000 Anganwadi centres in the country.

The modernisation would be undertaken as part of an agreement signed by the Women and Child Development Ministry with the Vedanta group on Monday to develop and modernise Anganwadis in the country, an official release said here.

Anganwadis are one-stop centres set up by the government to combat child hunger and malnutrition. A typical Anganwadi centre also provides basic health care in Indian villages. Basic health care activities include contraceptive counselling and supply, nutrition education and supplementation, as well as pre-school activities.

The modernisation process aims to enhance the learning environment through e-learning modules for children and skill enhancement programmes for women. This centre will also act as a focal point for immunisation, gender sensitisation and maternal care, the release said.

Besides providing the children with a modern learning environment and play area, the new centres will also act as a platform for empowering women and young girls through multi-skilling, it added.

The Anganwadis are proposed to be run as a shared space in which 50 percent of the time will be devoted to children’s education and the remaining half will support women’s skill development.

They would be equipped with solar power, television for e-learning, hygienic toilets and pure drinking water supply. “Post-construction, the new Anganwadi centres will be handed over to the respective panchayat or local urban body,” the release added.

“We are planning to modernise the Anganwadis and revamp these as enablers that will not only provide supplementary nutrition and basic healthcare services in villages but also function as a place to mobilize the village women to increase their participation in community development,” V. Somasundaran, secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.

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