TN is home to 55,000+ Anganwadis
Anganwadi centers (AWCs) were built by the Indian government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to provide pre-school education, nutrition security, healthcare, immunization, early identification of disabilities, and referral services.
In other words, these Anganwadis play a pivotal role in early childhood care and development, addressing the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive needs. But, many of them are dilapidated, abandoned, or in a state of disrepair.
Making children school ready
Under the aegis of ICDS, United Way Chennai developed the Anganwadi Development Programme to ensure the holistic development of children below the age of 6. It stands on five main pillars:
Creating a safe & vibrant learning environment by refurbishing infrastructure, installing solar lights, providing Shishu desks, and learning materials.
Enhancing early childhood education by appointing Anganwadi facilitators who conduct play-based activities that develop gross & fine motor skills, promote cognitive & creative development, as well as social skills
Encouraging parents to become more involved in the development and progress of their child by forming committees and conducting meetings to address concerns related to the child.
Mobilizing surrounding communities to take part in activities taking place within the Anganwadi such as health checkups by conducting awareness drives, monthly events, etc.
Conduct volunteering initiatives such as story-telling, puppet shows, and creating learning materials to engage the children based on monthly themes.