Poorest of poor and uneducated women left behind in ICDS

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  1. A paper published in a WHO bulletin has revealed that the services under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) have an inadequate reach among the poorest of the poor and uneducated mothers.
  2. The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) was launched in 1975. The scheme comes under   the purview of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD).  In 2001, the ICDS programme was mandated by the Supreme Court to be universalized. 
  3. The beneficiaries under the Scheme are children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  4. The objectives of the scheme are a) improve the nutritional and health status of children aged 0-6 years, b) lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child, c)reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout, d) promote child development through effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst various departments, e)impart proper nutrition and health education to mothers for enhancing mother’s the capability to address normal health and nutritional needs of the child.
  5. The ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services viz. a) Supplementary Nutrition, b) Pre-school non-formal education, c) Nutrition & health education, d) Immunization, e) Health check-up, and f) Referral services. The ICDS services work through a network of Anganwadi Centres, which are run by Anganwadi workers.