Student Dissertation

Agency : ICDS; AWC; AWW; Low Attendance of Children; Integrated Child Development Scheme

Objective : To identify the factors responsible for low strength of children in the Anganwadi Centre. To assess the profile of drop-outs children and their families. To assess the awareness level among the community about ICDS.

Methodology : Type of Study: Descriptive cross sectional Area of Study: The study was conducted in two blocks of Junagadh district where attendance rate of children is low Sampling Procedure: Purposive Sampling of Children in the two blocks of the Junagadh District Sampling: Parents of 50 children were selected as per convenience from each block Study Tool and Technique: Semi Structured Questionnaire and Face to Face Interview Data Analysis: Data was collected then analyzed in MS Excel.

Findings : Of the 100 respondents, 65 percent and 80 percent respondents from Mangrol and Visavadar respectively reported that the AWC opens up regularly. About 60 percent and 70 percent respondents stated that the AWW (Anganwadi worker) attend AWC regularly in respective block. Physical infrastructure was 20 percent and five percent in Mangrol and Visavadar respectively. 15 percent and five percent respondents in Mangrol and Visavadar blocks respectively stated that the behavior of AWW was the reason for low strength at AWC. 30 percent and 55 percent respondents in Mangrol and Visavadar reasoned out saying that the overlapping of school & AWC timing was responsible for less number of children attended AWC. Distance to AWC was also quoted as responsible for low strength of children at AWC with 41 percent and 20 percent in Mangrol and Visavadar block respectively. The study found that although the attendance and functioning of AWW was good in both the blocks but other factors played an important role for low attendance of beneficiaries at the AWC. The poor infrastructure, overlapping of timing of schools and AWC, and the distance came out to be the major reason for the low attendance at the AWC. Very few beneficiaries said the behaviour of AWW was the cause of low attendance. Ensuring better infrastructure, scheduling the timings of the activities at the centre and setting up of centre as per the accessibility may increase the attendance at the AWC and thus help in provision of effective services.