The Union Government will construct 50,000 anganwadi centres (AWCs) every year so that in the next four years two lakh anganwadis have their own buildings and can provide health care in villages in a better way, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday said.
The scheme is being funded partly from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) and partly from the ICDS budget. "We are constructing anganwadi centres so that you (anganwadi workers) get space to sit, set up crèches for children and feed them properly etc. I understand that you really face trouble in the absence of a proper building," said Gandhi, who gave the National Awards to anganwadi workers for exceptional achievements at Vigyan Bhawan here There are 13.4 lakh angwandis across the country out of which more than 2 lakh do not have their own buildings and are operating from rented buildings.
Starting with this financial year, 50,000 anagwadi centres are being set up in 11 states which have high burden of malnutrition. These include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Also, the 25 per cent reserved posts in which anganwadi workers, who have completed ten years of service and are graduate can apply and get promoted as a supervisor, has been increased to 50 per cent to motivate them, said Gandhi. At the event, Secretary in WCD ministry, V Somasundaran highlighted the issue of receiving late nominations from state.
"The nominations have to come from the states and the process was getting delayed. So we have put some people on the job to follow it up with states, and next year onwards we will give the awards on annual basis," said Somasundaran.