Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said anganwadis in the city will be developed like playschools, asserting that even the poor will have access to the facilities that the rich do. The chief minister also distributed smartphones to anganwadi workers, a move aimed at digitising the operation of the anganwadi sector in the national capital.
The government will distribute 10,000 smartphones to anganwadi workers. The Delhi government’s ambitious early childhood care curriculum was also launched. Addressing a gathering of anganwadi workers, Kejriwal said there is a perception that anganwadis are merely centres for providing food to children.
“Now, an early childhood care curriculum is being introduced so that anganwadis provide the kind of care and education that is provided at the expensive playschools. Even the poor will have access to the facilities that the rich do. Anganwadis will now be developed into playschools,” Kejriwal said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the Women and Child Development minister, said across the world it has been acknowledged that 80 per cent of development of a child’s brain takes place by the age of six. “But India has continued to neglect early childhood care. Delhi’s anganwadi reforms are an effort to change that and build a model for the country,” he said.
Kejriwal said that earlier, anganwadi workers would have to maintain 11 or 12 registers monthly at each anganwadi. “Now, using this smartphone you will be able to enter everything into our database and the government will directly have access to that information. “This is a digitisation of the entire anganwadi sector that will not only benefit you, but also the department,” the chief minister said.