Jammu and Kashmir Government on Wednesday rolled out an ambitious plan to transform the Anganwadi Centres into state-of-the-art Model Community Facilities for children and mothers in the State.
The spokesman said that as a part of this program, unveiled by Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Rohit Kansal at a review meeting of the ICDS here today, 50 existing Anganwadi Centres in each district would be, in the first phase, transformed through convergence with MGNREGA into Model Anganwadi Centres with upgraded infrastructure and improved amenities like toilets, drinking water and hygiene.
It will be then replicated at other Anganwadi Centres in the State to change the face of the Government’s 44-year-old children and women-oriented program for efficient delivery of Integrated Child Development Scheme.
Under ICDS, supplementary nutrition is provided to children in the age group of 0-6 years and to pregnant/lactating mothers with main objective to fight the problem of malnutrition.
The meeting was informed that at present, 141 projects are running under ICDS in J&K covering 29599 Anganwadi Centres. “Upto June 2019, 779682 beneficiaries have been covered under Supplementary Nutrition Program in the State,” the meeting was told.
Speaking at the meeting, Kansal stressed on expeditious implementation of ‘Decentralized Policy for Procurement of Supplementary Nutrition’ under ICDS to bring transparency, accountability and greater involvement of community in the implementation of the scheme.
Under the revised policy approved by the State Administrative Council earlier this year, supplementary nutrition shall be procured at Halqa Panchayat/Municipal Ward level through Panchayats and Municipal Committees. “The procurement of nutrition items will have to be strictly as per the menu displayed in the Anganwadi Centres and to be procured from Super Bazaar/Cooperative Stores/Fixed Price Shops/Registered Local Shopkeepers on the rates not exceeding the rates notified by FCS&CA,” Kansal maintained adding that the new policy has been framed as per the delegation of powers to the Panchayati Raj Institutions under the amended Panchayati Raj Act.
To expedite implementation of ‘Decentralized Policy for Procurement of Supplementary Nutrition’, Kansal directed that the Procurement Committees should be in place in all the 4483 Panchayats in the State by the end of this month followed by opening of dedicated bank accounts in each Panchayat for the purpose.
As per the New Procurement Policy, the funds for the purchase of the nutrition items are required to be transferred directly into the Joint Bank Accounts of Chairperson and Member Secretary of the Procurement Committee consisting of Sarpanch/Urban Ward Councillor and ICDS Supervisor of the concerned Panchayat Halqa/Urban Ward. The meeting was informed that 3176 accounts have already been opened and the rest of the accounts would be opened within the set timeframe.
Kansal asked the ICDS Mission Directorate to organize training/orientation camps for Panchayat Representatives to acquaint them with the policy guidelines to be followed for the procurement of nutrition and its distribution in Anganwadi Centres.
Regarding decentralisation of disbursement of honorarium to Anganwadi Workers and Helpers under ICDS, Kansal called upon the District Project Officers and CDPOs to forward the details of all pending dues to the ICDS Mission Directorate by 7th August 2019 so that the Honorarium is released before 15th August 2019.
Kansal also reviewed the progress of flagship Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandhana Yojana (PMMVY), Poshan Abhiyan and Ladli Beti schemes. He also reviewed the progress of Aadhaar Enrolment under ICDS and the administrative issues.
The meeting was informed that under PMMVY, Rs 35 crore were available for the year 2017-18 and 2018-19, against which Rs 33.79 crore were disbursed among the beneficiaries.
PMMVY is a maternity benefit scheme for pregnant and nursing women, under which Rs 5000 in three instalments is provided to the beneficiary for the first pregnancy.
It is aimed at providing food security and partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child.
Kansal called for expediting convening of DPCs to address the issues of career progression in ICDS.
Earlier, Mission Director, ICDS, Shabnam Kamili gave a detailed presentation about the progress of various schemes being implemented by ICDS.
All the DPOs, CDPOs and Supervisors from across the State besides officials from the Administrative Department were present at the meeting.