State governments indifferent to Anganwadi workers: Maneka Gandhi

New Delhi, (IANS) Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said the state governments are adopting a “careless” and “irresponsible” attitude towards making timely payments to Anganwadi workers.

Anganwadi is a government sponsored child-care and mother-care programme.

At an Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) members’ meeting with Gandhi, the members highlighted problems like low honorarium for creche workers and helpers, difficulty in setting up creches in conflict areas and outstanding payments to Anganwadi trainers by the state governments, an official release said here.

The ICCW, an umbrella organisation of NGOs and non-profit organisations working in the field of child welfare, runs 5,300 creches in 450 districts across the country.

Maneka asked them to submit a formal representation to her ministry giving details of the issues and action needed so that the matter could be taken up with the finance ministry and the state governments.

“It is a serious matter that the state governments are adopting a careless and irresponsible attitude towards making timely payments to Anganwadi workers and Anganwadi trainers for the services rendered by them,” Gandhi said.

The minister said the ministry would get in touch with all the states and write to those states which were not making timely payments.

She said the training of Anganwadi workers was also not up to the mark “as is evident from the fact that they are lacking in knowledge of cleanliness, hygiene and good quality food to children”.

The ICCW members also requested her for a separate budget for the inspection of creches and Anganwadi centres to ensure quality.

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