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More than one lakh Anganwadis, government-run child care centres that are an important tool in implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), are not functional.

This was revealed here Saturday by Woman and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath.In a statement Saturday, on the conclusion of a conference to review the ICDS programme, Tirath said: “The priority area is to ensure operationalisation of all the 13.67 lakh sanctioned Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) as there is still a backlog of around 1.02 to 1.33 lakh AWCs.”

She said the government shared the ministry’s perspective to strengthen and restructure the ICDS scheme through a set of comprehensive, management and institutional reforms.

“During discussions there was a consensus and demand for setting ICDS in a mission mode,” the minister said.On the issue of malnutrition, Tirath said the high level of malnutrition in the country was a matter of “serious concern”.

“Early detection and prevention (of malnutrition) is critical. The states were asked to take specific steps for conducting independent surveys to detect levels of malnutrition and devise nutrition guidelines at community level for treatment of severely malnourished children,” she said.”The states have been advised to set up nutrition councils immediately and to take further steps for a concerted action to address the challenge of malnutrition,” she added.


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