NEW DELHI: Anganwadi workers across the country will now undergo training to be able to provide preschool education to children aged between three and six years.
The move is aimed at making the role of the anganwadi workers more meaningful.
The government will reshape the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme, under which food and primary healthcare are provided to children under six years of age and their mothers.
"There will be a shift in the role and duties of the anganwadi workers from food distribution to imparting preschool education. The idea is to make ICDS more meaningful and effective," Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said today.
According to ministry officials, the government has figured out alternative ways of distributing food so that the anganwadi workers can focus more on imparting education which is crucial for the development of a child.
Gandhi, who presented the National Level Awards 2016-17 to anganwadi workers, said that authorities "misused" them for over four decades by making them work for elections and attend political meetings or greet VIPs which she said had been banned after she took over.
There are around 27 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers in the country.