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‘Provide Rs 250 crore for construction 3,385 Anganwadi Centres’

Bhubaneswar, July 21: Maintaining that at least 3,385 Urban Centres in the State do not have their own pucca Anganwadi buildings, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to provide Rs 250 crore for construction of Anganwadi buildings in these Centres.

Patnaik met Gandhi at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi today.

The Chief Minister stated that the ongoing Integrated Child Development Services Programme needs to be further strengthened and urged upon the Union Minister to enhance the approved rate for supplementary nutrition, approve at least one Anganwadi Centre or Mini-Anganwadi Centre for every hamlet in the tribal areas irrespective of population and increase the honorarium of Anganwdi Workers and Helpers.

In addition, the Chief Minister mentioned that Central Share of funds under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme should be released timely to ensure uninterrupted implementation of the Scheme.

The Chief Minister also underlined the need to create service delivery structures under District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) at Gram Panchayat level or at least at the Block level for better implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).

“Donations made to Juvenile Justice Fund may be exempted from Income Tax to mobilise additional resources and that Government of India may consider setting up an exclusive Juvenile Justice Academy in the State,” Patnaik said.

Union Minister appreciated the efforts being made by Odisha to improve the nutritional status of pre-school children and pregnant and lactating mothers. She informed that the State of Uttarakhand has introduced an innovative feeding system of providing nutritional mix of millets and peanuts in sachets for supplementing the nutritional needs of pre- school children and mothers. She suggested that Odisha may consider adopting a similar feeding system.

Union Minister also referred to seven One-Stop Centres for Women sanctioned for Odisha and desired that these may be made operational early. She said that in case Odisha desires, more of such Centres could be sanctioned to the State.  

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