New Delhi: The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi held a meeting with the members of the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) in New Delhi today. The meeting was called to discuss the various problems being faced by the members in running the crèches under the Creche scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development as well as training of Anganwadi workers under the ICDS.
ICCW is running 5300 crèches in 450 districts all over the country. The members highlighted the problem of low honorarium given to crèche workers and helpers, difficulty in setting up of crèches in conflict areas, outstanding payments to Anganwadi trainers by the state governments among others .
Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi asked them to submit a formal representation to the Ministry giving the details of the issues and action needed so that the matter can be taken up with the Finance Ministry as well as the state governments. Expressing concern, the Minister said that it is a serious matter that the State Governments are adopting a careless and irresponsible attitude towards making timely payments to Anganwadi workers, anganwadi trainers for the services renederd by them. She said that the Ministry will get in touch with all the states and write to those states which are not making timely payment. She also took serious view on the working of ICDS on the last so many year which has resulted in high malnutrition level in children.
The Minister said that the training of anganwadi workers is also not up to the mark as is evident from the fact that the anganwadi workers are lacking in knowledge of cleanliness, hygiene, good quality food to children etc. The malnutrition has been building up because the institutions have been going down systematically for the last many years and there is now an urgent need to revap the in time system. Smt Maneka Gandhi said. The Minister asked them to study the map of severe malnutrition areas and formulate a strategy to deal with the grave problem of malnutrition with the help of WCD Ministry .
The ICCW members also requested for a separate budget for the inspection of crèches and anganwadi centers to ensure quality. They also highlighted the problem of court directions asking them to pay provident fund to the crèche workers. which is totally beyond the means of child welfare councils.
Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi assured all help to the Council provided they come out with a well defined strategy and take active measures to ensure quality of services at creches and anganwadis.
ICCW is an umbrella organization of NGOs and non-profit organizations working in the field of child welfare. The delegation of ICCW members was headed by the President of the organization Smt. Geeta Siddhartha.
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