The Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, recently launched the Anganwadi Protocol Divyang Children in a national outreach program at Vigyan Bhawan on November 28, 2023. The event aimed to strengthen the overall well-being of Divyang children and was attended by key officials, experts and stakeholders from various ministers and organizations.
Key Participants in the Launch Event
The launch event, held at Vigyan Bhawan, witnessed the presence of key figures including Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai (MoS MWCD and AYUSH), Shri Indevar Pandey (Secretary, MoWCD), Shri Rajesh Aggarwal (Secretary, DEPwD) and Dr. K K Tripathy (Economic Advisor, MoHFW). The program brought together senior officers, state officers and expert organizations like NIMHANS.
Overview of Current Initiatives
Union Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani highlighted the ongoing efforts, with over 4.37 core children receiving support for meals and ECCE, 4.5 crore children aged 0 to 3 benefiting from take-home relations and home visits and more than 8 crore children monitored for growth and health referrals. The Minister emphasized the importance of the Anganwadi network in achieving these milestones.
The Swasth Suposhit Bharat Vision
Aligned with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a Swasth Suposhit Bharat, the Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang Children embodies a Social Model for inclusive care under the POSHAN Abhiyan. The protocol consists of three key steps:
- Screening for early disability signs
- Inclusion in community events and empowering families
- Referral support via ASHA/ANM & Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) teams
Implementation and Support
The protocol guides every district administration in addressing the special needs of education and nutrition for Divyang children. It introduces Swavlamban Cards for empowerment and emphasizes tracking developmental milestones through the Poshan tracker. The Minister proposed an amalgamation of helplines to enhance support.
Focus on Anganwadi Centers
The Minister stressed the need for upgrading Anganwadi Centers to ensure inclusivity. A significant allocation of Rs. 300 crore for training and capacity building of Anganwadi Workers was announced. The guidance and support of DEPwD in specialized training for the identification and inclusion of Divyang Children were highlighted.
Role of Communities and Awareness
The Minister emphasized a silent revolution led by Anganwadi Workers to create awareness and sensitize communities. The process of educating a divyang child, once expensive and unaffordable for many, is now made affordable through the Anganwadi network. The Minister urged creating outreach for parents of children with special needs.
Address by Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai
Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai expressed the goal of making every child an equal part of the country’s growth, recognizing Anganwadi workers as key to this endeavor. The Anganwadi Protocol signifies a significant step towards creating a nurturing environment for the growth of Divyang children, promoting inclusion and celebrating differences.
Implications and Early Intervention
Secretary MoWCD, Shri Indevar Pandey, discussed the implications of the Anganwadi Protocol, emphasizing the government’s recognition of the importance of early detection of disabilities. He highlighted the role of ASHA workers in aiding Anganwadi workers during home visits, stressing the critical window of opportunity for early intervention.
Expert Panel Discussion
A panel discussion titled “Strategies for Early Identification, Screening and Inclusion at the Anganwadi Centre” featured experts discussing best practices. The discussion addressed both inherent risks of disability and systematic challenges, providing valuable insights for effective implementation.
Experiences Shared by Anganwadi Workers
The event concluded with Anganwadi workers from different regions sharing their experiences o of working with specially-abled children. These inspiring stories aimed to motivate everyone to fulfill their collective responsibility of ensuring that no Divyang child is left behind.
Important Questions Related to Exams
Q1. Who launched the Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang children?
Sol. Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani.
Q2. When was the national outreach program for the Anganwadi Protocol held?
Sol. Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani on November 28, 2023.
Q3. What is the primary focus of the Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang Children?
Sol. To strengthen the overall well-being of Divyang children.