Integrated Child Development Services
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) was launched in 33 Blocks on October 2, 1975, in response to the challenge of meeting the holistic needs of the child. Today, ICDS is one of the world's largest and most unique outreach Programmes for children. It is widely acknowledged that the young child is most vulnerable to malnutrition, morbidity, resultant disability and mortality. The early years are the most crucial period in life, as it is the time when the foundations for cognitive, social, emotional, language, physical/motor development and life-long learning are laid.
It is in this context ? recognising that early childhood development constitutes the foundation of human development ? that the ICDS Programme was designed to promote all-round development of children under six years, through the strengthened capacity of care-givers and communities and improved access to basic services at the community level.
The Programme is being implemented at 80,211 anganwadi centres (AWCs) through 544 Child Development Projects across the state.
Benefits and Eligibility
The Programme aims to benefit children below six years, pregnant and lactating women in the reproductive age group (15-45 years). The package of services delivered by the scheme includes:
Supplementary nutrition is provided to the children below 6 years and pregnant and lactating women to bridge the caloric gap between the national recommended nutritional guidelines and actual intake by the women and children of disadvantaged communities.
Immunisation of pregnant women and children is done to reduce the maternal and neonatal mortality. The children are immunised against six childhood diseases namely poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis and measles.
Health Check-ups include health care of children less than six years, antenatal care of expectant mothers and postnatal care of nursing mothers. The various health services provided for children by anganwadi workers and Primary Health Centre staff, include regular health check-ups, recording of weight, immunization, management of malnutrition, treatment of diarrhoea, de-worming and distribution of simple medicines etc.
Referral Services are provided during health check-ups and growth monitoring, sick or malnourished children, in need of prompt medical attention, are referred to the Primary Health Centre or its sub-centre.
Pre-School and Non formal education for three-to six years old children in the anganwadi is directed towards providing and ensuring a natural, joyful and stimulating environment, with emphasis on necessary inputs for optimal growth and development.
Nutrition, Health and Education involves use of Behaviour Change Communication strategy to build capacity of women especially in the age group of 15-45 years – so that they can look after their own health, nutrition and development needs as well as that of their children and families.