Q. First of all congratulation on receiving the district award for outstanding performance. What does it mean to receive this district award?
It is indeed very encouraging not just for me but for everyone who is working in different fields. I express my gratitude to my seniors who have put trust in me and encouraged me all this time. I started the work in Anganwadi centre in the year 2011 and all these years I have worked sincerely and with dedication. The award is an honour which pushes me to work better and with more enthusiasm. Also, it has increased the expectation and trust. Recognition for the hard work and dedication has broken the stereotype thinking of receiving the award only when you do extraordinary or something big at a higher post. Today, many people who are working at smaller post are also encouraged.
Q. Brief us about the role and responsibilities of Anganwadi workers?
Anganwadi is a government-sponsored scheme for child and mother care development. It caters children of 0-6 age group from morning 10 am till 2 pm. The focal point of Anganwadi worker is the implementation of all health, nutrition and early learning initiatives under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
The basic components under which Anganwadi workers perform their duty are:
1. Supplementary Nutrition: Children registered with the Anganwadi centre are provided supplementary nutrition according to the prescribed menu and scale. Also, the dry ration is distributed to the pregnant, lactating mother and adolescents.
2. Non Formal Pre School Education: Under this, children (3-6 years) are groomed and shaped for formal education in schools. We focus on various aspects such as psychological, physical and social development of the child.
3. Nutrition and Health Education: Under this, information is imparted on taking care of one’s own health and nutrition needs.
4. Immunization: The beneficiaries are informed about vaccination and its importance. Also, they help health department officials during the vaccination day.
5. Referral Service: In case of medical complications detected during health checkups or in case beneficiaries fall sick at the centre, the patients are referred to the health centers.
6. Health Checkup: Periodically, health check-up of the pregnant, nursing mother and child is done. The weight, height, body mass of the child is recorded.
Being an Anganwadi worker, my job is to run the centre effectively and efficiently.
Q. How important do you feel about the Anganwadi centre? Are people well aware of the centre?
Anganwadi centre definitely plays a very important role in a child’s life. The centre besides providing meals looks after the children which helps in psychological, physical and social development. Thus, all this care makes a child ready to join the school. As these days because of the nuclear family trend and working parents, Anganwadi centre acts as a second home for the children. There is a need for more awareness among the people regarding the centre because people still have limited their thought as ‘Thukpay school’, a school where children are just served Thukpa. Many just emphasise the child to hold a pencil and start writing, the physical activities are considered useless. I really want to let people know that the centre works for the overall development of the child which is very crucial.
Q. Is there any kind of challenges you face?
The centre is running well and there are no such major challenges we are facing in terms of infrastructure, food, equipment, etc. Only the limited salary and delay of payment is a concern.
Q. Brief us about the training to Anganwadi worker. How important is training?
Anganwadi workers being an important frontline worker for the mother and childcare development, necessary training and skills are imparted. Sometimes, experts or resource persons are called to train the workers about the functioning of centre and regarding childcare and development through various activities. Training is a necessary from time to time in order to upgrade new skills and knowledge. More informed and equipped we are, better the work we will be performing. I personally feel that in a year one training is important for the successful delivery of services.
Q. Have you ever faced discouragement because of the physical problem you have?
Since I have a problem in my legs many are not encouraging and supportive all the time. When I first joined as an Anganwadi worker there were people who asked me various questions such as will you be able to do it? There are many responsibilities in this job and I did doubt myself initially. Later, when I started working, things were not as difficult as it seems and talked about. Today, I love my job and I am happy with myself.
Many a time when we have a problem, we give up without even trying which is so not done. There will be difficulties in the beginning but it’s all about learning and moving on.
Message to the readers
“I would like to request people to take advantage of different schemes of Government and enroll your children to the nearest ICDS centre for the overall development of the child.”