The state Child Development and Nutrition Department has finally approved the proposal for creating mini Anganwadi or Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centres in around 40 districts in the state.
The new centres will ensure that children in urban slum areas and other areas where the population is around 1,000 are covered under the ICDS and gets the required health and nutritional support.
This plan came for the first time in 2001,when the Centre suggested the creation of mini- ICDS centres. But this has been pending for long, said an official of the department.
But till 2004,the department was unable to select the areas which required an ICDS. So far,there is one anganwadi centre for a population of 5,000 in all the districts throughout the state, said the official.
With an increase in the population,it was felt that there is a need of mini-ICDS centres catering to a smaller population in select districts.
Also,there are no ICDS centres in the urban slums and the children in these areas were missed out of the programme,added the official.
It was finally in 2006 that the department managed to finalise the 40 districts where these mini-ICDS centres would be created.
Initially we got around Rs 12 crore and then Rs 18 crore from the Centre to support these centres, said JB Singh,Additional director of ICDS.
Now we have finally decided on the districts where these centres will be opened, he said.
Since we already have monetary support,the work will be done as soon as the elections are over, he added.