The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) was launched in 1975 and since then it has been working assiduously to mop up hazards to child health and development. It comes under the purview of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). The ICDS aims to meet the below mentioned objectives:
- To fight the rate of morbidity, mortality, school dropout and malnutrition
- To create a system that tackles the proper physical, social and psychological development of child.
- To enable mother to meet the nutritional and developmental needs of the child and make her aware of her own needs during pregnancy.
- To advance the nutritional and health standard of children in the age-group 0-6 years
- To have all the various ministries and departments work in a coordinated fashion to attain policy implementation and create an effective ECCE system.
The scheme aims at providing an integrated package of services including medical check-ups, supplementary nutrition, recommendation services, immunization, nutrition & health awareness and preschool and non-formal education. These services are provided as package as each of these issues are interdependent. To ascertain that the overall care and education of child is addressed, the scheme is envisioned by the MWCD as a complete parcel of provisions.
ICDS is funded by central and implemented through the States and Union Territories. Except for the supplementary nutrition which must be provided by the state’s resources, the scheme financially is 100% backed up by the Central Government. But many of the States due to economic slowdown, drought and alike conditions were not capable of providing adequately for supplementary nutrition so central government decided to support the States up to 50% of their economic norms or to support 50% of expenses acquired by them on supplementary nutrition, whichever is less. The reason behind Central assistance for supplementary nutrition was to ascertain that all beneficiaries are getting the supplements for 300 days of the year which has been explicitly laid down in the norms of the scheme.
In case of non-supplementary expenses, the central government is now responsible only for 90% in all States and Union Territories instead of 100%. Financial year 2009-2010 saw change in sharing ratio between North-eastern states and Centre which had been changed from 50:50 to 90:10. In other states, with regard to the supplementary nutrition, the pattern remains unchanged which is 50:50. Anganwadi’s have been instituted considering population in a given area.
The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has not fully attained its objective but the scheme has immensely helped children across the length and breadth of the country to get the better of hapless situation they were into. Implementation of the plan can uplift the living standard and bring about radical changes in the lives of poor people. But now since central as well as state government both have cottoned on to the fact that together they can stamp out the menace of poverty though systematic and corruption free implementation of the various such ambitious plans , the chances of ICDS to be successful has surged many times.
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