NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, in a first-of-its-kind Public Private Partnership, has joined hands with the Vedanta Group to develop and modernise the Anganwadi infrastructure in the country. Anganwadi is the service delivery unit established under the Integrated Child development Scheme (ICDS), the flagship programme of the Ministry.
Every year, the Ministry keeps a separate budget to develop infrastructure of Anganwadis so as to improve the overall functioning. Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) has been emphasising the need for these buildings, as places where the women in the villages can gather and discuss their issues and find solutions through collective action.
“The problem of malnutrition is a huge national challenge and the ministry is going to launch the national nutrition mission. This Nand Ghar model will provide targeted delivery of supplementary nutrition services along with related healthcare services for both mother and child including skill training for women,” said Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Hon’ble Union Minister for Women and Child Development.
She stated that, training of Anganwadi social workers and construction of Anganwadi buildings are essential components of the mission. “And we are delighted that corporates as Vedanta have entered into this unique partnership to construct 4000 Anganwadis,” said Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Hon’ble Union Minister for Women and Child Development. She has also stressed on the need of having toilets in these buildings for women to further the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission.
“The ‘Nand Ghar’ is an extension to the existing Anganwadi initiative and will be Vedanta Group’s endeavour to provide a better environment to the children of India. Healthy children and empowered women will eradicate poverty and malnutrition, and make a prosperous nation. Our Nand Ghar project aligns with our honourable Prime Minister’s vision and commitment to providing quality education for children and skill development for women, in the entire country,” said Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta.
Under the Anganwadi programme, supplementary nutrition is provided to children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years and to pregnant/lactating mothers. The main objective of ICDS is to fight the problem of malnutrition. In order to reach out to every corner of the country, a network of over 14 lakh Anganwadis have been established in every village, town, city and other habitations. These are manned by social workers who are trained for delivery of nutritional services and are paid an honorarium.
WCD and Vedanta Group have come together to construct 4000 Anganwadi buildings in different parts of the country. The model Anganwadi, called ‘Nand Ghar’, is being inaugurated by the Minister for WCD along with Shri Anil Agarwal, Chairman of the Vedanta Group, on 24 June at Hasanpur village, District Sonepat, Haryana. Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has informed that the Anganwadis will be developed in some of the high burden districts where the Ministry is proposing to launch the National Nutrition Mission shortly. She informed that the proposal has already been submitted to the EFC after an in-principle approval by the Finance Ministry. She further informed that the Mission will involve more non-government partners contributing collectively to one common objective of eliminating malnutrition.
In this unique partnership, WCD and Vedanta will share the cost of construction of the buildings, which are prefab structures with solar power. The land for the Anganwadis will be provided by the Gram Panchayats and the construction will be undertaken by NBCC. These Anganwadis have been named as “Nand Ghar” by the Prime Minister and a singular design will be followed for these Anganwadis at all locations.
Through Vedanta Foundation – the philanthropic arm of the Group, Vedanta has already collaborated with over 3000 Anganwadi Centres in Rajasthan and Odisha by supplementing the services of the government and addressing the nutrition and as well as the educational needs of over 1 lakh children. This number is set to rise in the years to come.