Poverty and hunger will no longer prevent slum children from receiving education.
Impressed with the success of ‘Jugnu’, a mobile anganwadi service, the state women and child development (WCD) ministry has decided to now roll out five more mobile anganwadis in Indore.
Earlier, on March 2, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) with public participation had rolled one ‘Jugnu Chalit Anganwadi’ (anganwadi on wheel or mobile anganwadi) in the slum areas and temporary settlements of Indore as a pilot project.
The aim of project was to eradicate illiteracy and encourage parents to send their wards to nearby anganwadis as well as educate adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers about personal hygiene, health and nutritious diet.
After receiving good response, the WCD has now decided to start five more ‘Jugnu’.
During the course of three months, ‘Jugnu’ got huge response from every part of the city, particularly in slum areas.
As per the information received from the ICDS, about 930 families, 471 children up to six years, 99 adolescent girls, 36 pregnant women and 37 lactating mothers were covered by ‘Jugnu’.
Apart from this, 144 children from different slums were joined to different anganwadis in the area.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, ICDS (Indore division) joint director Sandhya Vyas said: “Following the success of the pilot project which was initiated about three months back with the help of people participation, the state woman and child development ministry has now decided to start five more mobile anganwadis in the district. The ministry sanctioned Rs 47 lakh for the same and hopefully, all five mobile anganwadis will be on the roads soon.”
“There are an estimated 16,810 homeless families residing in temporary settlements in as well as on the outskirts of city slum areas. This homeless population require the ICDS services the most,” she added.
Keeping eye on this, the pilot project initially focused on children of nomadic population so that they could get informal education.
Mobile anganwadis will also serve them meals, maintain their health records and impart health tips to pregnant and lactating mothers residing in slums.
At present ‘Jugnu’ covers 13 out of 22 temporary settlements in and outside the city. Each settlement is covered twice a week, once in the morning and once in the evening.
“After encouraging parents to send their wards to the nearby anganwadis, volunteers with Jugnu served hot cooked meal in the morning to children, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers and in the evening dry snacks like sweet halwa, khichdi and others. Food packets are distributed for the rest of the days of the week. Weighing of children is also done once a month,” she added.