Anganwadi centres across the country will soon go hi-tech with the government planning to equip them with tablet PC devices installed with a customised software for regular monitoring of nutrition supply to malnourished children.
The software will enable Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) to upload various data like dietary intake and health updates of children and supply of foodgrains and supplementary nutrition on a daily basis.
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The move will help the government assess the impact of its flagship programme for providing supplementary nutrition –Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) — through regular monitoring and supervision and bridge the gap between recommended diet and average daily intake.
“Anganwadi centres will be provided with software-enabled tablet devices through which they would be able to upload data as and when required. It will help them record the nutrition supply levels of the children and upload it directly,” a senior official of Women and Child Development Ministry told PTI.
Monitoring implementation of ICDS has been a challenge for the government as currently the data on nutrition supply is received from the states and Union Territories in the form of periodic reports.
The government had established Central Monitoring Units in 2007 as a mechanism for regular supervision and evaluation. However, a recent audit by a parliamentary panel had found it was being operated without a professional consultant and there was a significant shortfall in growth monitoring under the scheme.
“By equipping them with tablets we would be able to identify malnourished children much faster and more nutrition can be supplied,” the official said.
ICDS provides supplementary nutrition, pre-school education, nutrition and health education and check-ups for the economically weaker sections through a network of around 13.42 lakh AWCs.
The services are currently being provided to 1,045.08 lakh beneficiaries of whom 849.4 lakh are children under six. Around 370.7 lakh children of 3-6 years are given pre-school education.