|Anganwadi centres were introduced in India in 1975 in order to combat child malnutrition and to further children’s psychological, physical and social development. Each village should have an Anganwadi centre and there is roughly one centre per 1000 people.
Anganwadi Centres are centres for women and children (0-6). The children come to a kind of Kindergarden in the morning for pre-school education. The Anganwadi worker is part Kindergarden teacher, part social worker and has a helper to support her work. In the mornings she will look after the Kindergarden, and in the afternoon she completes 5 home visits. These home visits focus on the following high risk groups:
The Anganwadi worker organizes a monthly community meeting for mothers in the Anganwadi centre, discussing 1 particular issue relevant to the community. The Anganwadi worker additionally supports local women’s self help groups.
- pregnant women
- lactating mothers
- 0-6 year olds
- adolescent girls (11-18)
- children who do not regularly attend the Anganwadi centre
Structure of Anganwadi centre functionaries:
The MLTC and AWTC fall under the responsibility of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) initiated by the Department of Women’s Welfare, Ministry of HRD, Government of India.
- Child Development Project Officer.
- Anganwadi Worker
AIM and OBJECTIVES
The supervisors are middle level functionaries and responsible for delivering services related to the Integrated Child Development Scheme. They provide guidance to Anganwadi workers and helpers in their day-to-day work through supportive supervision and monitoring. The MLTC conducts and organizes training courses for ICDS supervisors from Maharashtra.
- Specific objectives
a) To train ICDS supervisors through organizing job and refresher courses.
b) To supervise and monitor the ICDS Project and the AWTC.
- General objectives
a) To enhance the supervisor’s knowledge, skills, and potential.
b) To enhance the supervisor’s performance in the field
c) To build the supervisor’s capacity to shoulder their job’s responsibilities.
- To provide effective and efficient services to mothers and children through the supervisors
The job training course lasts 30 days, whilst the refresher training course takes place during 7 days. The training’s curriculum is supplied by the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) in Delhi.The MLTC employs 3 instructors to teach the supervisors in the subjects of early years/pre-school education, health and nutrition, as well as community advocacy and community participation.
Supervisor’s responsibilities include supporting staff, monitoring the Anganwadi centres, and monitoring the nutrition and immunization of the Anganwadi children.
During their training, the supervisors are instructed in early childhood development and care among other things. In this regard they learn about organizing child care in the Anganwadi centre (e.g. how to do effective story telling which stimulates through both sound and pictures). They are instructed in how to produce low cost / recycled training materials such as stick puppets, hand puppets, ‘odd one out’ pictures etc.
Early childhood development focuses on a child’s cognitive development, physical development, emotional development, social development, and language development.
Other subjects the supervisors are instructed in include the following: save pregnancy, save home birth, breastfeeding, nutrition and growth, immunization, hygiene, HIV/AIDS prevention, family planning, menstrual hygiene, and sex education.
Between April 2001 and March 2013, the MLTC conducted 563 Job training courses and 1645 refresher training courses
- The main challenge lies in tackling blind faith, which is at the root of many problems facing India’s rural poor today.
- Example: Newborn babies are often refused breastmilk for the first three days of their lives and instead are fed with sugar water. The first milk produced by the mother after birth, which contains vital anti-bodies to strengthen the child’s immune system, is deemed too thick for the baby to drink, leaving the child with a very low starting weight and vulnerable to illnesses and infections which will weaken it further.
- Tackling malnutrition in children, which is repressing their overall growth and their brain development. This requires a holistic approach encompassing nutrition, health, hygiene, and environmental sanitation.