Q. Are parents sending their children to Anganwadi Centres (AWCs)? What kind of challenges are you facing in this regard?
Lady Supervisor (LS): Yes, parents are sending their children to the centres. We are not facing any special challenges. The COVID-19 protocol we received from the relevant department is being taken care of in the AWCs. Instructions have been given to Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) to pay attention to visitors at the centre, cleanliness while preparing meals, and the use of masks and sanitisers.
Q. Do you see a change in the status of malnutrition in children? What all is being given to children as nutritious food?
LS: No, there are no visible changes in the malnutrition status of children. I feel that because of the pandemic, the children received appropriate nutrition while staying at home, due to which the malnutrition status is normal in this Block.
Children are being provided with biscuits, oats, porridge, and nutrimix for breakfast and dal-rice and/or khichdi for lunch.
Q. According to you, during the COVID-19 pandemic, were there things which the government should have provided but did not? On the other hand, what necessary things have been provided?
LS: The post of a Supervisor is vacant here, due to which I have additional responsibility (have to manage two posts at the same time). The relevant department has been informed about it, but there has been no improvement in the situation.
There is no shortage of nutritious food, and we are provided with sufficient quantities of material in fixed time periods.
Q. What are your primary responsibilities at the moment? What challenges are you facing in their regard?
LS: My primary work is monitoring all centres within the sector. This includes checking the distribution of nutritious food, the preparation of hot-cooked food, beneficiary records in the register, and random physical verification. My work also includes the entry of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) forms, and acting as a protection officer, and field level checks of the welfare schemes run by the Department of Women and Child Development.
The biggest challenge I am facing currently is that I am only able to do half of my field inspections due to the huge workload.
Q. Is Early Childhood Care and Education* (ECCE) taking place at AWCs? What instructions have you received regarding ECCE?
LS: No, ECCE activities have not taken place in the last two years at the centres due to the pandemic. We also haven’t received any instructions from the relevant department to start working on monthly calendars for ECCE activities.
Q. During the last six months, what kind of problems have AWWs brought to your notice?
LS: AWWs primarily bring to us problems about work overload, having responsibility of more than one centre, uploading of data on the app, etc. In all of this, we try to solve the problems of the worker as soon as possible.
This interview was conducted with a Lady Supervisor in Himachal Pradesh in Hindi on 26 April 2022, and has been translated.
Source: Deccan Herald
*The National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy was adopted in 2013. The Policy reaffirms GoI’s commitment to provide integrated services for the holistic development of all children from prenatal period to six years of age. ECCE aims to facilitate optimal development of a child's potential and lays the foundation for holistic development and lifelong learning. It includes care, health, nutrition, play and early learning within a protective and enabling environment.