Stimulation in early childhood is critical for the development of healthy brains and bodies. Nutrition plays a significant role in this, especially during the formative years of children. During the first six years of life, children attain several developmental milestones and this acts as a foundation for future development and learning.
Globally, the malnutrition contributes to nearly 35% deaths of children below five years of age, which can be prevented when policy, programme and budgetary actions are directed towards children during prenatal and their first few years of life. There is now evidence that rapid weight gain after first two years of age increases the risk of chronic diseases later. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-IV revealed that 35.7% of children below the age of three years are underweight in India. In view of this, there is an urgent need to redress malnutrition in children.
Thus, aside from its core cause of providing mid-day meals to children of government schools and government-aided schools, The Akshaya Patra Foundation has also undertaken Anganwadi feeding as one of its feeding initiatives.
Currently, the Foundation serves nutritious meals to 1,61,410 young children between the ages of 3-6 years at 4,786 Anganwadi centres in nine locations of five states of India. It also provides nutritious food to more than 6,000 pregnant and lactating mothers across 323 centres in Jaipur. By doing so, Akshaya Patra wants to ensure access to right nutrition in sufficient quantity during the crucial stages of children, expecting and lactating mothers. Here is a complete list of the Foundation’s reach in Anganwadi feeding:
|Location||Number of Centres||Type of Beneficiaries||Number of Beneficiaries|
|Pregnant and lactating mothers||6,410|
How is your money spent?
Your contribution towards the Anganwadi feeding programme is diligently spent to provide nutritious meals to Anganwadi beneficiaries. The organisation at all times uphold maximum transparency in funds utilisation. Below is a cost per meal for Anganwadi programme.
|Anganwadi Cost Per Meal 2017-18|
|Direct cost||Per meals (in INR)|
|Vehicle fuel and rental charges||0.82|
|Other general expenses||0.61|
|Support from Government of India (Cash Subsidy)||5.72|
|Deficit per meal||2.87|
|Cash deficit excluding depreciation cost||2.26|
|Cost per meal round off (INR)||2.25|
|Number of days meals served||300|
|Cash deficit excluding depreciation cost||2.26|
|Cost of meals for 1 beneficiary for 1 year||675|
Your contribution of Rs. 675 will enable us to provide nutrition-rich diet to one Anganwadi beneficiary for an entire year.
What is Anganwadi Programme?
Anganwadi is a type of child and mother care centre in India. The Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) are a part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, a centrally sponsored government scheme. The ICDS was launched on 2 October 1975 and is one of the flagship programmes of the Government of India focussing on children and nursing mothers. Anganwadi centre provides basic health care. It is a part of the Indian public health-care system. Basic health-care activities include contraceptive counselling and supply, nutrition education and supplementation, as well as pre-school activities. The objectives of the ICDS Scheme are:
to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
to achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
In order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives ICDS offers six main services:
Pre-school non-formal education;
Nutrition and health education;
Health check-up; and
Immunisation, health check-ups, and referral services are related to health and are provided in association with the national health services.
For better governance and effective delivery of these services, ICDS employs Anganwadi Centres as a platform. Thus, AWCs focus on and aim at providing holistic development for children aged between 0 and 6 years along with providing care facilities for pregnant and lactating mothers.
All the children aged between 0 and 6, and pregnant and lactating mothers can avail the services of AWCs. As per a government press release dated 7 February 2014, there are 14 lakh approved AWCs and 7076 ICDS Projects across the country. The Anganwadi programme is an effort by the Government of India to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health – two of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals.