Student Dissertation

Agency : Anganwadi Centre; Performance; Non-Tribal; Tribal; Comparative Study

Background : The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme is presently the only major National Program in the country which focuses on early childhood nutrition and care, pregnant and lactating women through Anganwadi Workers (AWW). However, effectiveness of ICDS Scheme in delivering desired services has been questioned repeatedly. Even after 40 years of implementation, the success of ICDS program in tackling maternal and childhood problems still remains a matter of concern. Research Question: What is the performance of Anganwadi Centres in Non-Tribal and Tribal blocks?

Methodology : The cross sectional study was conducted in four blocks at 40 Anganwadi centres from 12th March 2015 to 12th May 2015. Four blocks were selected based on the percentage of malnutrition. From each block 10 AWC were chosen. Information on AWWs’ background characteristics, infrastructure and MCH services being delivered at AWCs were observed and recorded. Quality of MCH services being delivered was also assessed.

Findings : • Ninety percent of Anganwadi Centres in non-tribal blocks are owned by government, five percent are rented building, five percent are owned by others i.e. donated by others and 60, 40 percent of AWC building are owned by government and rented building respectively in tribal blocks. • In Non-Tribal area of Sabarkantha district, nineteen Anganwadi Centres have less than 15 percent moderately underweight children, one Anganwadi Centre had MUW children in range 15-30 percent. In Tribal area six Anganwadi Centres had 15-30 percent MUW children, nine AWC had 30-40 percent MUW children and five AWC had more than 45 percent MUW children • In pre-school education children are taught poems and stories. In non-tribal region 18 AWC (80 percent) had story or poem books as compared to tribal area where these were available in 12 AWC (60 percent). In non-tribal out of 18 AWC, 14 were utilizing it and in tribal area out of 12 AWC, 5 were utilizing it.

Recommendations : Performance of AWCs and MCH services delivered by non-tribal Anganwadis are inadequate. Hence operational challenges should be addressed to improve MCH services especially in tribal areas.