Anganwadi Feeding Programme
In 2021, the Women and Child Development Ministry estimated that there are more than 32 lakh malnourished children in India. As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-IV, 35.7% of children in India are underweight. At a global level, around 35% of deaths among children below five are due to malnutrition. These statistics stress on the importance of nutritional programmes that help children right from their prenatal state till the first few years since birth.
WHAT IS ANGANWADI PROGRAMME?
Anganwadis are government-funded child and mother care development centres in India. They were started as a part of the Government’s flagship Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme to improve the nutritional status of pregnant women, nursing mothers and children in the age group of 0-6. The objectives of the ICDS Scheme include:
- to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age group 0-6 years
- to lay the foundation for the 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
- 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
To ensure that the ICDS is able to keep up to the objectives, Anganwadi centres offer the following services:
- Supplementary nutrition
- Pre-school non-formal education
- Nutrition and health education
- Health check-up
- Referral services
Currently, Akshaya Patra serves meals to 1,35,612 children in the age group of 3-6 years at 5,928 Anganwadi centres in ten locations in four states of India. In addition, 3,660 pregnant women and nursing mothers in 323 Anganwadi centres in Jaipur, Rajasthan, also benefit from the Foundation’s efforts.
Anganwadi Food Menu
Understanding the importance of childhood nutrition, this programme provides an Anganwadi food list based on the availability of local food and raw material.
The Anganwadi food chart is prepared according to the state it is being fed in. For example, the Anganwadi food menu in Andhra Pradesh includes Upma, Khichdi, and Halwa, along with wheat and rice.
There are several other quality assurance measures that are taken to ensure that the Anganwadi food items deliver quality and nutrition.
The Anganwadi Programme, an effort by the Government of India, reduces child mortality rate and helps increase maternal health. These are the- two of the eight UN Millenium Development Goals.
ANGANWADI KIT PROGRAMME
Healthy food and hygiene boosts immunity in pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children. So, Akshaya Patra is providing essential kits containing nutritious food items and hygiene products to Anganwadi beneficiaries.
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