Condition and Initiatives in UP [ICDS]

On 1st November 2014, on the lines of Maharashtra State, State Nutrition Mission was set up and 7 thousand villages were adopted. High level Officials were to focus all attention on these villages and refer severely malnourished children to hospitals where a record of their weight would be maintained and supplementary nutrition provided.




Community participation was also to be ensured to fight malnutrition. Official sources say that nutrition rehabilitation Centres have been established where doctors give technical reports and due to this mission the link between ICDS and hospitals has been strengthened. But in 2010, only one nutrition rehabilitation centre had been set up in Pratapgarh, which has the worst social indicators regarding children’s health.
Besides this, official records say the ICDS is also trying to bring down infant mortality rates and school dropout rates. The reality is something totally different-UP accounts for 31% of the country’s malnourished children. The CAG report 2006-2011 also mentions Uttar Pradesh as one of the states ridden with massive financial irregularities where funds meant for the Scheme are siphoned into personal accounts, false reports of expenditure are shown and food grains meant for beneficiaries are taken away from the Centres and sold in the market. But there is no mechanism to monitor these irregularities.
Also, despite the high-sounding aims of the Scheme, according to the state's own records, 35.5% of the total children who were identified as beneficiaries of the
supplementary nutrition programme under ICDS were underweight, with 62,728 falling in the Grade III and IV -severely malnourished - categories. The UP figures are
considerably higher than the national average of 28.4%. We may note here that at present UP has around two crores children (6 mths. - 6 yrs.) identified as beneficiaries of the supplementary nutrition programme (SNP), while nearly 50
lakh pregnant and lactating mothers are covered under ICDS, as on March 2012.
Shortage of Staff But how can targets be achieved when there is always shortage of staff? For example, on September 30th, 2012, the situation in U.P. was as follows:

Posts
Sanctioned

Posts
Filled

Posts
Vacant

 

D.P.O. &
C.D.P.O.

998

703

295

AWS

7222

4178

3044

AWW

188259

178508

9009

AWH

165331

159003

6328

Source: http://wcd.nic.in/icdsdatatables.htm
Here it can be seen that there is a huge gap between sanctioned posts and posts which have been filled. This leads to overtime work, i.e., 12-13 hours of work for the staff instead of 8 hours, with no extra remuneration. This not only affects their performance, it also affects their health.
At an All-India level there are 1.07 lakh posts of AWWs and 1.18 posts of AWHs vacant as of March 2015, according to Minister of Women and Child Development.
Fund Sharing between State and Centre: Before financial year 2005-06 the Centre had been providing 100 % financial assistance to all the component services of the Scheme, except supplementary nutrition, which had to be taken care of by the States/UTs. But it was reported that the states were not spending adequately, resulting in poor performance in reducing malnutrition. In 2005-06 it was decided that the Centre would also share 50% of the financial norms or expenditure in supplementary nutrition by the State, whichever would be less.
In 2009-10, it was decided that the sharing pattern would be further changed. So, the sharing between the Centre and North East Indian States was altered from 50:50 to 90:10.

For all other states/UTs, including Uttar Pradesh, it was maintained at 50:50. However, as regards the other components the aid was reduced from 100% Central assistance to 90:10. The budgetary allocation for ICDS was slashed from Rs. 1800 crore in July 2014 budget and was made Rs.800 crore in the 2015 Union Budget. Also, the budget for mid-day meals was decreased from Rs. 3000 crores to Rs. 1200 crores. The rest has to be managed by states/UTs.
In the 12th Five Year Plan, the Centre made a budget allocation of Rs 1.24 lakh crore for strengthening and restructuring the ICDS Scheme. For a scheme aimed at raising
nutrition standards among the children, more than 70% of the total allocation is spent on administrative expenses -salaries to contractual employees, on general expenses and training purposes, while only about 30% is actually spent on providing nourishment to the intended beneficiaries. In Ghoerni village of Shamli district of U.P., village elder Yogendra Kumar said, "Every single day, inedible khichdi is delivered to the three aanganwadi centres in our village. The intended beneficiaries are not aware of such a programme and those who know, find the food inedible. Ultimately, the khichdi is fed to the cattle every day."


Inadequate Infrastructure
The infrastructure is way below the mark. For example, the Central Government has also made population norms as follows for Anganwadi/Mini Anganwadi Centres in Rural and Urban Areas:

Serial No.

Population

Anganwadi
Centre/Mini AWC

1.

400-800

1 AWC

2.

800-1600

2 AWCs

3.

1600-2400

3AWCs

4.

Added Multiples of
800

1 AWC

5.

150-400

1 Mini AWC

Tribal, riverine,
desert, hilly and
difficult areas

6.

300-800

1AWC

150-300

1 mini AWC

Source: www.childlineindia.org.in › ... › Child Targeted Schemes & Programmes
It is clear that the population norms, even if followed, are unscientific. Besides this, many of the AWCs are nonfunctional. 2014 Official records say there are 187997 AWCs in Uttar Pradesh while the Anganwadi Workers are 176030 in number, which comes to not even one worker per 400-800 population.

Mayank Rai

Hi, My name is Mayank Rai. I found that Blogging is an easiest way to share your knowledge with everyone & learn something new from there.

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