BHUBANESWAR: Pre-school children in the anganwadi centres (AWCs) of the State would be wearing uniforms from this year.
The Women and Child Development (W & CD) Department has decided to provide uniforms to the children with the aim of instilling discipline and self-esteem among them as well as to increase attendance in the centres.
The boys would be wearing pink shirts and blue pants while the girls would put on pink shirts and blue skirts. As many as 15.45 lakh pre-school children from three to six years of age, enrolled in around 69,038 operational anganwadi centres, would get the uniforms.
As per the announcement of the Department, the uniforms would be made of good-quality cloth costing ` 100 per pair. The uniforms would be purchased at the level of School Management Committees (SMCs) and get stitched, preferably by self-help groups (SHGs).
Pre-school education, a crucial component of the ICDS scheme, has the objective of universalisation of primary education by preparing the children for formal education. Different activities relating to physical, cognitive, social, emotional and creative development of children are facilitated by the anganwadi workers. Provisioning of uniform would have a positive impact on the children’s self- esteem, attendance and discipline, W & CD Secretary Arti Ahuja said in a communication to all the Collectors.
The funds would be released to the districts from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and transferred to the accounts of the SMCs by the collectors after ascertaining the requirements.
“The number of AWCs falling under the jurisdiction of each SMC should be calculated and funds released as per exact enrolment of pre-school children at each AWC to avoid misuse of funds. It should be ensured that every child gets uniform and good-quality uniforms are supplied in a transparent manner,” the Secretary said.
The process of procurement and stitching would commence instantly and the uniforms would be distributed among the children through public ‘melas’ in the districts.