ICDS: Integrated Child Development Services
What is ICDS?
ICDS or Integrated Child Development Service is established for the better upbringing of children who are under the age of six. It is known as a popular flagship program launched in 1975 by the Indian Government. This service is organized for the desperate children of 33 blocks of the country. The main purpose of this campaign is to provide fresh food, pre-school, primary education, healthcare, proper health check-up, immunization and other referral facilities for the holistic development of the child and his mother as well.
How did ICDS come into light?
As we know that India is the most populated country in the world. A number of children are suffering from starvation and terminal illness. They are also working in the factories and construction points instead of playing in the public parks. They work hard to improve the worst condition of their family. After seeing this misery, in 1974, India adopted a well-defined national policy for those children who are losing their childhood due to lack of appropriate sources.
ICDS is one of the most prestigious and premier national human resource development programmed of the Indian Government. This scheme was installed at the most specific day on 2nd October 1975 in 4 rural, 18 urban and 11 tribal and overall 33 blocks. It was withdrawn in 1978 during the governance of Morarji Desai and then restarted by the Tenth Five-year plan. This scheme was inaugurated in the villages where over 75 percent of the population lives. Besides it, urban slums are also the prior area of this program.
Objectives of ICDS
ICDS is set up for improving the health and nutritional status of children who are younger than six years. It is basically founded for the psychological, physical, and social growth of a child. It’s aim to reduce the death rates, illness, infant malnutrition and school dropout rates. It works in the direction of maternal education and helps to enhance the capacity to look after her own health and nutrition along with her family. ICDS promotes child development through its effective co-ordination of the policy and firm implementation among various departments and programmes across the country.
Beneficiaries of ICDS
This scheme is advantageous specifically for those little one who are below the age of six. It is also applicable for pregnant and lactating mothers whose age group is between 15 to 44. This program is enhancing its value all over the country. At present it has 5614 projects covering over 5300 community development blocks and 300 urban slums. The total population under ICDS coverage is 70 million which is approximately 7 percent of the entire generation of India. Moreover, since 1991, this service had been available for non-formal education of adolescent girls up to the age of 18 years and additionally also took care of their health and nutrition.
Services Offered by ICDS
This Programme provides a package of various services like
- Complementary Nutrition
- Health Inspections
- Referral Services
- Treatment of minor ailments
- Health and nutrition information
- Pre-school Or non-formal education
- Convergence of other supportive services like water, sanitation etc.
These services are usually available at local ICDS centre called Anganwadi, controlled by Anganwadi Workers. It is originally based on women who are the part and parcel of this scheme. They are selected and trained locals, educated up to high school. They are assisted by Medical Officers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwives and Accredited Social Health Activists after completing three months training. Apart from this they contribute in child development, immunization, personal hygiene, environmental sanitation and also enhance the awareness regarding family planning services treatment of morbidity and reduction of mortality. In short, this community focuses on the integrated progress of a child and enable him to turn his bad days into good ones.
ICDS emphasizes on the maturity of little ones. This programmed is available to provide a good education by qualified members and also decodes the advantages of personal hygiene on a large scale. Its main aim is to enhance consciousness about the progressive report of a child. Besides it, This service also looks after those mothers who are pregnant and breastfeeding. Thus It is known as a largest community all over the country.