BHUBANESWAR: Stating that 3385 anganwadi centres in urban areas of the state do not have buildings of their own, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today requested the Centre to provide Rs 250 crore for construction of pucca house for each of these centres.
The chief minister raised the issue during his meeting with union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi.
Naveen said the ongoing Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme needed to be strengthened further and requested the union minister to enhance the approved rate for supplementary nutrition. He said at least one anganwadi or mini-anganwadi centre should be approved for every hamlet in the tribal areas irrespective of population. He also requested Gandhi to increase the honorarium of anganwadi workers and helpers.
The chief minister also said central share of funds under the ICDS scheme should be released in a timely manner to ensure uninterrupted implementation of the scheme.
Naveen underlined the need to create service delivery structures under District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) at gram panchayat or at least at the block level for better implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The union minister appreciated the efforts being made by Odisha to improve the nutritional status of pre-school children and pregnant and lactating mothers. She said Uttarakhand has introduced an innovative feeding system of providing mix of millets and peanuts in sachets for supplementing the nutritional needs of pre-school children and mothers and suggested that Odisha may consider adopting a similar system.
Gandhi also referred to seven one-stop centres for women sanctioned for Odisha and wanted these to be made operational early. She assured the chief minister that the issues raised by him would receive priority attention of the Centre and central funds under ICDS will be released timely from the current year onwards.