A paper published in a WHO bulletin has revealed
that the services under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) have an
inadequate reach among the poorest of the poor and uneducated mothers.
The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS)
was launched in 1975. The scheme comes under
the purview of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). In 2001, the ICDS programme was mandated by
the Supreme Court to be universalized.
The beneficiaries under the Scheme are children
in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
The objectives of the scheme are a) improve the
nutritional and health status of children aged 0-6 years, b) lay the foundation
for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child, c)reduce
the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout, d) promote
child development through effective co-ordination of policy and implementation
amongst various departments, e)impart proper nutrition and health education to
mothers for enhancing mother’s the capability to address normal health and
nutritional needs of the child.
The ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services
viz. a) Supplementary Nutrition, b) Pre-school non-formal education, c) Nutrition
& health education, d) Immunization, e) Health check-up, and f) Referral
services. The ICDS
services work through a network of Anganwadi Centres, which are run by