New Delhi: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with minerals to energy conglomerate Vedanta to develop and modernise 4000 Anganwadis in the country.
Speaking on the signing of the MOU, Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, V. Somasundaran, said “We are planning to modernize 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.”
Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta said, “We are happy to associate with Ministry of Women & Child Development for setting up model Anganwadis. These modern Anganwadis will provide a better environment to the children of India. Healthy children and empowered women will eradicate poverty and malnutrition, and make a prosperous nation. It is our privilege to partner with the Government in this initiative, especially, since it aligns with our honourable Prime Minister’s vision to provide quality education to children and skill development to women across the country.”
Vedanta will build the ‘next generation’ Anganwadi centres, for which they will commits Rs 400cr. These anganwadi centres will be built in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh among others. These model Anganwadis will be built in clusters of 25-30 in a particular district with multifunctional capabilities. The land for the Anganwadis will be provided by the Gram Panchayats.
Anganwadi is the service delivery unit established under the Integrated Child development Scheme (ICDS), the flagship programme of the Women & Child Development Ministry. The modern anaganwadis will seek to add to the existing Anganwadi model of the Ministry’s ‘Integrated Women and Child Development Scheme’. It will 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.
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. They are proposed to be run as a shared space in which 50% of the time will be devoted to children’s education and the remaining half will support women’s skill development. The model Anganwadis will be equipped with solar power, television for e-learning, hygienic toilets and pure drinking water supply. Spread over an area of about 700 sqft, the cost of each ‘next generation’ Anganwadi will be around Rs 10 Lakhs. Construction of these centres will be done by using unique prefabricated eco-friendly structures. Post construction, the new Anganwadi centres will be handed over to the respective Panchayat/ local urban body.
These ‘next generation’ Anganwadis will also have access to medical vans provided by Vedanta, to improve and meet the need for primary medical services to children and women. In this pathbreaking initiative, the ‘next generation anganwadis’ will act as social incubators that will help uplift the communities on a national scale by educating children, eradicating malnutrition and developing vocational skills among women in India.