Integrated Child Development Scheme [ICDS] was introduced in 1975 to improve Indian children’s health and quality of life. Anaemia, malnutrition, stunting, and under-immunization are ubiquitous, especially among children of poor or marginalized backgrounds. The goal of ICDS is to feed, educate, and care for vulnerable kids and mothers. What was then a small initiative became one of the world’s most extensive integrated early childhood programs.
The programs conducted over the past few decades have shown that a Child’ s-early years have a ‘Disproportionate Impact’ on the rest of their lives. That is the reason why an increasing number of countries are creating programs to invest in little kids; as they know it is a cost-effective method to handle inequality and raise a generation of ‘Healthier Adults’. The plan is ambitious in its drive to deliver high-quality Health, Nutrition, Community education, and services to millions of vulnerable people.
So, what is “Integrated Child Development Scheme” (ICDS)
The department of social welfare launched the “National Policy for Children“. It outlined the country’s commitment, to provide adequate service to children, both before and after birth, to ensure proper physical, mental and social development. During the year 2017, it delivered preschool services close to 33 million kids. It also gave regular food rations to about 90 million young children and lactating and pregnant women.
The preschool program of study in Anganwadi centres is outlined in the ministry ‘National Curriculum Frame’, that aims at promoting early stimulation, play-based and child-friendly provision for early education and all-round development. In other words–-Anganwadi centres should be places where kids can have fun and learn skills that will lay the foundation for their entry into schools. With the assistance of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund [UNICEF], India launched the ICDS program intending to improve the Nutrition, Health, and Growth of children, educate pregnant and lactating women, and helping vulnerable adolescent girls and women.
ICDS services are spread through a network of more than 1.2 million Anganwadi centres, across every region in India. In an Anganwadi centre, the Anganwadi worker takes care of the–Women and Children educates the community and collects health and nutrition data. In 2017, it delivered preschool services close to 32 million kids. There are about 130 million kids under 5 in India. The centre also provides regular food rations to close to 95 million young children and lactating and pregnant women.
ICDS program is unique as it accounts for the fact that caregivers largely shape kid’s early experiences. Anganwadi workers also give nutrition and health education to the mothers of children at their centres. An Anganwadi centre is a place where parents feel safe leaving their kids as they go to work, and it also keeps unattended children off the streets [For their safety]. The ICDS scheme also provides pre and postnatal care for women. Under the ICDS program, women are encouraged to breastfeed their newborns, especially for the first six months of life.
Research has shown ‘ICDS Improved Child Nutrition‘ and Lowered Child Mortality Rates in India over the past 25 years. The scheme increased immunization coverage of kids, contributing to an increase in life expectancy.
Our Team EKAM helps with situations in everyday healthcare routines where it intervenes to bring a positive impact on the overall lifesaving scheme, by providing support and enhancing health through various initiatives.
EKAM is combating against ‘Infant and Maternal Mortality’ in the rural setup, where access to health infrastructure is not satisfyingly, up to the mark.
So, log onto www.ekamoneness.org to learn more.