Abstract of Dissertation

Agency : Anganwadi Centre, Anganwadi worker, ICDS; Children; Awareness; Knowledge; Training

Objective : The key objective of the present study is to assess the correct knowledge among Anganwadi Worker about Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

Background : The Anganwadi worker is a community based front line voluntary worker of the ICDS programme. Though government is spending lot of money on ICDS programme, impact is very ineffective. Most of the evaluation study concentrated on the nutritional and health status of the beneficiaries of ICDS. Less focus has been shifted over to assess the knowledge and awareness among AWW regarding recommended ICDS programmes, who are actually the main resource person.

Methodology : The sample for the present study comprises of 150 Anganwadi workers belonging to three Urban Blocks of Patan District. Twenty six knowledge indicators are considered to estimate the mean knowledge score related to six domains of ICDS services. If the response is correct then it is coded as 1 or else equal to 0. Total knowledge score is estimated by adding the individual scores of each response.

Findings : Results from the analysis suggest that most of the Anganwadi workers are trained; but it was found that performance as well as awareness among Anganwadi workers regarding the importance of growth charts and growth monitoring was not satisfactory. The quality of knowledge was one of the neglected features among job profile of Anganwadi workers. The mean knowledge score about various ICDS services is about 12.83, and the individual score ranging from minimum of 7 to maximum of 19.

Recommendations : Therefore, the study strongly felt the need of improving the quality of knowledge and awareness among Anganwadi workers about various ICDS Services. Hence, there is a strong and intense need for improving the quality of training provided to Anganwadi workers before letting them go into the field jobs. Frequent interactions among Anganwadi workers and supervisors should be introduced for imparting information and awareness. Though Government of India is putting lot of money to enhance the health status of both mother and children through AWCs, the results suggest relooking at the operational aspects of AWCs at the grass root level.

Today Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) represents one of the world's largest programmes for early childhood development. The main objective of this programme is to cater to the needs of the development of children in the age group of 0-6 years. It is one of the largest child care programmes in the world aiming at child health, hunger, malnutrition and its related issue. The basic components of this scheme comprises of supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up, referral services, pre-school education and health and nutrition education. Anganwadi centre is the central point for the delivery of services at community levels to children below six years of age, pregnant women, nursing mothers and adolescent girls.