The Union Government has taken several steps to strengthen Anganwadi services, though it has not constituted any task force for implementation of the schemes related to women empowerment. These steps include revision of cost norms of supplementary nutrition, provision of construction of Anganwadi Centres under Convergence with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), provision of drinking water and sanitation facilities at AWCs under Swachhta Action Plan (SAP) etc. This was stated by the Union Minister for Women Child Development Smt Smriti Zubin Irani in a written reply to a question posed by Shri Kunar Hembram, MP, Jhargram in the Lok Sabha today.
There have been sustained engagements with State Governments for review and improvement including recent interactions to discuss different implementation related issues to strengthen services. Further, streamlined guidelines were issued on January 13, 2021, covering several aspects such as quality assurance, roles and responsibilities of duty holders, procedure for procurement, integrating AYUSH concepts and Data management and monitoring through “Poshan Tracker” for transparency, efficiency and accountability in delivery of Supplementary Nutrition has been issued.
Smt Irani also stated that In West Bengal a total of 576 Projects and 1,19,481 Anganwadi Centres have been sanctioned out of which all are operationalised catering to the needs of 87.69 lakh beneficiaries. Under Anganwadi Services, a package of six services, comprising Supplementary nutrition; pre-school non-formal education; nutrition and health education; immunization; health check-up and referral services are provided to targeted beneficiaries i.e. all children below 6 years of age, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers. Three of the six services namely, Immunization, Health Check-up and Referral Services are delivered through Public Health Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.