India is home to the largest population of malnourished and hunger-stricken people and children leading to high infant and maternal mortality. Along with these issues are a deluge of problems ranging from diseases, lack of education, lack of hygiene, illness, etc.
To combat this situation, the Government of India in 1975 initiated the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme which operates at the state level to address the health issues of small children, all over the country. It is one of the largest child care programmes in the world aiming at child health, hunger, mal nutrition and its related issues.
Under the ICDS scheme, one trained person is allotted to a population of 1000, to bridge the gap between the person and organized healthcare, and to focus on the health and educational needs of children aged 0-6 years. This person is the Anganwadi worker.
An Anganwadi School in a small village in Rajasthan
What does Anganwadi mean?
The name anganwadi worker is derived from the Indian word – angan, which means the court yard (an central area in and around the house where most of the social activities of the household takes place). In rural settings, the angan is the open place where people gather to talk, greet the guests, and socialize. Traditional rural households have a small hut or house with a boundary around the house which houses their charpoys, cattle, feed, bicycle, etc. Sometimes food is also prepared in the angan. Some members of the household also sleep outside in open air, under the sky, in their angans. The angan is also considered as the ‘heart of the house’ and a sacred place which buzzes with activity at the break of dawn. Given the nature of this versatile nature of this space, the public health worker who works in an angan, and also visits other people’s angans, helping with their healthcare issues and concerns, is the Anganwadi worker.
The Anganwadi worker and helper are the basic functionaries of the ICDS who run the anganwadi centre and implement the ICDS scheme in coordination with the functionaries of the health, education, rural development and other departments. Their services also include the health and nutrition of pregnant women, nursing mothers, and adolescent girls.
Today in India, about 2 million aanganwadi workers are reaching out to a population of 70 million women, children and sick people, helping them become and stay healthy. Anganwadi workers are the most important and oft-ignored essential link of Indian healthcare.
Anganwadi workers are India’s primary tool against the menace of child malnourishment, infant mortality, and lack of child education, community health problems and in curbing preventable diseases. They provide services to villagers, poor families and sick people across the country helping them access healthcare services, immunization, healthy food, hygiene, and provide healthy learning environment for infants, toddlers and children.
Anganwadi workers are key informants of healthcare issues but given the nature of their work, they are also being called as social workers and many more activities are being added to their job profile, such as the kind of services they provide in Dindigul.
What do the Anganwadi Workers do?
The Anganwadis are engaged to provide the following formal services to the areas under their cover:
- Immunisation of all children less than 6 years of age
- Immunisation against tetanus for all the expectant mothers
- Supplementary nutrition to children below 6 years of age
- Supplementary nutrition to women who are pregnant and nursing, esp. from the low income group
- Nutrition, health education and health check-ups to all women in the age group of 15- 45 years
- Antenatal care of expectant mothers
- Postnatal care of nursing mothers
- Caring for newborn babies
- Caring for all children under 6 years of age
- Referral of serious cases of malnutrition or illness to hospitals, upgraded PHCs/ Community Health Services or district hospitals
- Non-formal preschool education to children of 3-5 years of age.
Role and responsibilities of AWWs
According to the The Ministry of Women and Child Development - The Government of India, the following are the basic roles and responsibilities listed for the anganwadi worker:
- To elicit community support and participation in running the programme.
- To weigh each child every month, record the weight graphically on the growth card, use referral card for referring cases of mothers/children to the sub-centres/PHC etc., and maintain child cards for children below 6 years and produce these cards before visiting medical and para-medical personnel.
- To carry out a quick survey of all the families, especially mothers and children in those families in their respective area of work once in a year.
- To organise non-formal pre-school activities in the anganwadi of children in the age group 3-6 years of age and to help in designing and making of toys and play equipment of indigenous origin for use in anganwadi.
- To organise supplementary nutrition feeding for children (0-6 years) and expectant and nursing mothers by planning the menu based on locally available food and local recipes.
- To provide health and nutrition education and counseling on breastfeeding/ Infant & young feeding practices to mothers. Anganwadi Workers, being close to the local community, can motivate married women to adopt family planning/birth control measures
- AWWs shall share the information relating to births that took place during the month with the Panchayat Secretary/Gram Sabha Sewak/ANM whoever has been notified as Registrar/Sub Registrar of Births & Deaths in her village.
- To make home visits for educating parents to enable mothers to plan an effective role in the child’s growth and development with special emphasis on new born child.
- To maintain files and records as prescribed.
- To assist the PHC staff in the implementation of health component of the programme viz. immunisation, health check-up, ante natal and post natal check etc.
- To assist ANM in the administration of IFA and Vitamin A by keeping stock of the two medicines in the Centre without maintaining stock register as it would add to her administrative work which would effect her main functions under the Scheme.
- To share information collected under ICDS Scheme with the ANM. However, ANM will not solely rely upon the information obtained from the records of AWW.
- To bring to the notice of the Supervisors/ CDPO any development in the village which requires their attention and intervention, particularly in regard to the work of the coordinating arrangements with different departments.
- To maintain liaison with other institutions (Mahila Mandals) and involve lady school teachers and girls of the primary/middle schools in the village which have relevance to her functions.
- To guide Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) engaged under National Rural Health Mission in the delivery of health care services and maintenance of records under the ICDS Scheme.
- To assist in implementation of Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY) and motivate and educate the adolescent girls and their parents and community in general by organzing social awareness programmes/ campaigns etc.
- AWW would also assist in implementation of Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG) as per the guidelines of the Scheme and maintain such record as prescribed under the NPAG.
- Anganwadi Worker can function as depot holder for RCH Kit/ contraceptives and disposable delivery kits. However, actual distribution of delivery kits or administration of drugs, other than OTC (Over the Counter) drugs would actually be carried out by the ANM or ASHA as decided by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
- To identify the disability among children during her home visits and refer the case immediately to the nearest PHC or District Disability Rehabilitation Centre.
- To support in organizing Pulse Polio Immunization (PPI) drives.
- To inform the ANM in case of emergency cases like diahorrea, cholera etc.?
How does the Anganwadi System Work?
The Anganwadi system in one village/ area is managed by a single Anganwadi worker, who is chosen from the community and has been trained for four months in areas such as health, nutrition and childcare. Each Anganwadi worker covers a population of about 1000 people.
It is heartening to know that there more than a million Anganwadi centers in India, employing more than 2 million workers, who are mostly female and intuitive to the health needs of the region. For a country where illness, child mortality, illiteracy and poverty co-exist, this comes as a refreshing statistic.
MukhyaSevika – The Supervisor of Anganwadi Workers
For every 10 Anganwadi workers, there is an Anganwadi Supervisor to provide on-the-job guidance, who is also known as Mukhya Sevika. Apart from the healthcare, nutrition and educational work, the following are the responsibilities of the Anganwadi Supervisor:
- Checks the list of beneficiaries from the low economic strata, who are severely malnourished,
- Guides AWWs in the assessment of correct ages of children, correct method of weighing the children, and plotting their weights on growth charts,
- Demonstrates to the AWWs the effective methods of providing health and nutrition education to mothers, and
Maintains the statistics of the Anganawadis
The Mukhya Sevikas, in turn, report to the Child Development Projects officer (CDPO)
How does the Anganwadi System help?
India is home to over-population, mal nutrition, poverty, unemployment, low literacy levels and more, with a target to make healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone. Given the urgency of healthcare issues, child mortality, mal nutrition, etc., our country needs high number of medical and healthcare professionals to cater to the population that is now running into billions. Faced with acute shortage of skilled professionals, the Government’s ICDS scheme is using the local population to help meet its grand goals.
The Anganwadi worker hails from the village where she works and has her finger on the pulse of the health of the village, its people and children.
Apart for the healthcare knowledge that she possesses and gained over a period of time, the Anganwadi worker is so entrenched in the general affairs of the household that she is in a better position to understand the real malady behind the healthcare issues. These latent problems of the household or community could range from relationship issues, daily hassles, sanitation, nutrition, social, peer pressure, and much more. Given the definition of health – the physical, metal, social, spiritual wellbeing of an individual, the Anganwadi worker perhaps has the best insight into the people’s health of her region.
While educated doctors, learned nurses and seasoned professionals are excellent in their work and skills, they mostly lack the social skills and expertise which is more than necessary in interacting with the rural folk. An anganwadi worker is well versed in the ways of the village, knows the people by their names, interacts with them on regular basis and may also has an personal relationship with the people.
Anganwadi workers need to have good communication skills. They are usually adept in using the right language, metaphors and allusions for convincing people to act in a certain way. Religious customs and sentiments work best for them.
Here is an interesting account of how the Anganwadi worker convinced the villagers from defecating on open land. From shaming the defecators, convincing the women of the house, to citing the sacred texts that emphasized cleanliness and took the sanitary hygiene of the village to much higher level than one can imagine. Such is the power of the Anganwadi worker.
Some Anganwadi workers are very enterprising. Like the ones in Tamil Nadu, trhey have taken the initiative of growing kitchen gardens to help meet the nutritional needs and achieve the objectives of reducing mal nutrition of 0-6 year olds. So far 200 kitchen garden initiatives have been undertaken where Anganwadi workers will be trained in laying the gardens and growing crops, on one cent of land allotted to them. …
With minimum qualification to boot, an Anganwadi worker is deemed wise in the ways of the village and in the duties that she performs. Their understanding, communication skills and approach is needed to implement the grand projects of the state and central Governments, making them the most vital link in delivering the ‘health for all’ mission.
Children’s University Australia – March 2018 Online Challenge
March – 31 DAYS OF DRAWING
During this month’s challenge spend 1 hour drawing any of the 31 DAYS OF DRAWING Challenge Ideas – see image below or download here: March Challenge Drawing Ideas. It could be 10 minutes a day for 6 days, or 30 minutes for 2 days or 1 hour on 1 day – whatever suits you, and helps you to do your best artistic work.
You can use pencils, crayons, watercolours, texta, pens or a mix of them all to create your drawing/s.
Take your drawing/s to your in- school coordinator for 1 hour of learning in your Passport. Don’t forget to get an adult to share your drawing/s with us on our CUA Facebook Page (Public or Private).
You can also ask an adult to go to our CUA Pinterest page for lots of drawing tutorials and step-by-step guides to help you improve your skills and create your best drawing/s ever! Have fun!
Children’s University Tasmania – March Online Challenge
The team at CU Tasmania are kindly sharing their monthly challenges for CUA members in all states to complete.
March – SENSES
Can you name the five basic human senses? Our human senses may notice changes to the world around us – our senses may detect changes in colours, sounds, smells and other changes around our local environment. Choose a day in March to explore what your senses notice about the world around you.
For full details of the Senses Challenge, click here.
Once you have completed the CU Tasmania Senses Challenge, take evidence to your in-school CUA Coordinator for 30 minutes – 1 hour in your Passport. Time allocated is at the discretion of the coordinator.
Children’s University Australia – February 2018 Online Challenge
Make a Valentine’s Card.
It’s time to get crafty and make some Valentine’s cards for the important people in your life.
There are lots of ways for us to show how much we love and appreciate those who are important to us. Join this month’s challenge to help make others feel important and loved.
Remember we always LOVE it when you share your photos with us. Take your cards/photos of your cards to your CUA in-school coordinator for 1 hour in your Passport to Learning.
Children’s University Australia – January 2018 Online Challenge
Green Thumb Challenge – Grow Your Own Plant
Summer is truly upon us – time to put the sun’s energy to good use!
Your challenge for January (and beyond) is to become a ‘Green Thumb’ and grow your own plant at home! It could be a vegetable or fruit you would like to eat, or a nice flower to decorate your room. You can grow it from seeds, or you can pick up a potted seedling or plant from your local hardware store (we hear our Learning Destination Partner, Bunnings Australia, has a few for sale!).
Once you’re all set up, send us a photo, tell us what your plant is and why you’ve chosen to grow that plant. We will send you some reminders during the year to make sure you’re still looking after your plant!
Don’t forget to show your photos and explanation to your in-school CUA Coordinator to receive one hour in your passport.
(Bonus time in your Passport later in the year, if you can keep your plant alive and/or harvest some flowers, fruit or vegetables. Stay tuned for more information during the year!)
Good luck Green Thumbs!
Summer 2017/2018 Holiday Challenge Activities
Summer is here – and things are starting to heat up! With a terrific range of activities the CUA Summer Holiday Challenge is a perfect way to spend some time learning and enjoying your summer school holidays. Each activity you complete is worth 30 minutes in your Passport.
Please show your work/evidence to your in-school CUA Coordinator in Term 1 2018.
Summer Holiday Challenge activities can be downloaded here: Summer Holiday Challenge
Keep cool! Enjoy your holidays!
Children’s University Australia – December Online Challenge
Dig Up (or Create) Your Time Capsule
In February 2017, we asked you to create a Time Capsule to store some information about yourself. Well, it is time to ‘dig up’ your Time Capsule and see how much you have changed!
Before you check your original answers, please complete these questions Time Capsule – Dec 2017. The questions are the same so it will be easy for you to see how you have changed.
Those of you that did not participate in the February Online Challenge – don’t panic! Your challenge for December is to answer these questions Create a Time Capsule – Dec 2017 and create your very own CUA Time Capsule. We will remind you to return to ‘dig it up’ at the end of 2018.
Whether you’re digging up an old capsule, or creating something brand new – don’t forget to share a photo on our Children’s University Australia Facebook page. We’re especially interested to see how the February capsules have survived!
Don’t forget to take evidence of your work to your in-school CUA Coordinator for a stamp and one hour added to your passport. Good luck!
Adelaide Zoo – Zoo Online
Endangered Australian animals at Adelaide Zoo can now be observed on-line! Funded through a collaborative project between the University of Tasmania, University of Wollongong and the University of Adelaide, it was developed as an activity for Children’s University Australia students in regional/remote areas. Children’s University students around the world can now complete an on-line animal observation activity and receive stamps in their passport!
Please note that the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby camera is currently down. To receive your stamp, take your completed ethogram to your in school CUA Coordinator to earn 20 minutes in your passport per ethogram. To access this exciting initiative click here and follow the instructions provided.
Check out the Children’s University Australia validated activities at Zoos SA here.
Alys Jackson Writer
What are your goals? My goals are to connect with people through my writing and to pass on the useful tips and knowledge I gain along the way. It is also wonderful to know that people enjoy what I write and get pleasure from something that means a lot to me.
If you are a writer or thinking of writing, I have a blog, pages for children with poems and short stories and illustrations to give younger readers ideas. You can view all of these resources by clicking here.
To receive a stamp in your passport please read one or more of the poems or short stories and leave a comment via the provided text box (bottom of the story/poem). Then provide evidence of the conversation to your in School CUA Coordinator who will then issue a stamp in your passport.
Students who enjoy this particular activity may be interested in studying creative writing, journalism or media. Just some ideas to get you started.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
The Jane Goodall Institute promotes understanding and protection of great apes and their habitat and builds on the legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall, our founder, to inspire individual action by young people of all ages to help animals, other people and to protect the world we all share.
Our Roots & Shoots Program empowers young Australians and equips them with the tools, motivation and support they need to address the problems that matter most to them. We create an ever expanding network of Australians, connected with their global counterparts, who are inspired to be change-making global citizens.
You can work individually or form a club to complete the following validated activities:
Chimp Champions – All you have to do is raise at least $50 and we will present your school with your very own Junior Chimp Champion certificate, along with Anzac’s story. Please contact us at [email protected] with your contact details and funds raised and we will organise your certificate or even a visit to your school! Show your certificate to your in-school CUA Coordinator to receive a stamp in your passport. For further details click here.
Habitat Protection – Campaign for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) labelling! Write to manufacturers asking them to explicitly label palm oil and use CSPO. Show a copy of your emailed letter to your in-school CUA Coordinator to receive a stamp in your passport. For further details access the link here.
Design Your Own – Roots & Shoots is an adaptable and ever-changing program. Most importantly, it’s your program! You can use community mapping to identify areas in your community that could use some help and use that as inspiration to start your own project. Show your community mapping and any other evidence of learning to your in-school CUA Coordinator to receive a stamp in your passport. For further information click here.
Mobile Phone Recycling – Schools only. For further information on Mobile Phone Recycling click here.
On the Job
“On the Job” is an online curriculum concept, blending online and offline activities into an understanding of employment and the modern workplace.
Here you can find out real people’s experiences on working “On the Job”. Sometimes it might be different to what you think!
Suitable for ages 10 – 14 years old.
To access “On the Job” please click here.
Provide evidence of completing an online activity, for example, photographs, written report or video recording to your in school CUA Coordinator to receive a stamp in your passport. Time allocated is at the discretion of the in school CUA Coordinator.
School Holiday – Book Review
Many libraries are offering a Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) during the December/January School Holidays. As a part of the Reading Challenge you can complete a Book Review for 1 hour of learning in your Passport to Learning. Ask the Librarian at your local library (if they are a CUA Learning Destination) or return your completed Book Review to your in-school Coordinator in 2018. A maximum of 2 Book Reviews per student.
You can download the Book Review form here: Book Review
Story Box Library
Did you know that 85% of what we learn we learn by listening? Do you love hearing stories be performed? Take a sneak peak into Story Box Library and listen to your favourite or new stories come alive…
Think of Story Box Library as an on-line ‘reading room’. It’s a place where the wonderful world of Australian Children’s Literature is on permanent exhibit. Story Box Library is committed to supporting and encouraging the practice of storytelling – they want your imaginations to soar.
Story Box Library creates through videos an interactive experience inviting storytellers to read stories. These may be people you recognise… sports people, musicians, comedians, actors, all with varying accents and from different cultures.
Story Box Library is a live streaming service, which means once logged in, you have instant access to our content without having to download files. You will require a internet connection to access our library. There are also different membership levels available for purchase and some stories for free. Check out the pricing options here.
Stories have been broken down into the following categories:
- Pre-School (3 – 5 years)
- Lower Primary (5-7 years)
- Middle Primary (8-10 years)
- Upper Primary (10 – 12 years)
Want to get a sneak preview for what Story Box Library is like, then click here. There are always new and interesting opportunities taking place at the Story Box Library – Check it out here.
After listening to a book you can provide evidence of learning to your in-school Children’s University Australia Coordinator by filling out the Book Review Template –Book Review.
The Coral Garden – Dr Tullio Rossi
Tullio Rossi completed his PhD in Climate Science at the University of Adelaide in 2016. During his studies he also worked as a Graphic Designer. Tullio has now combined his scientific and design backgrounds to produce scientific videos focused on marine biology and preservation of the planet’s resources.
Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of selected videos by completing the corresponding activity sheets. Please note the appropriate YouTube links are found on the activity sheets below.
Mysterious Underwater Sounds Explained-Worksheet (NEW 2018)
Lost at Sea – Worksheet
The Coral Garden – The Story of Frank the Coral- Worksheet
Poop for Climate
Completed worksheets are to be taken to your in school CUA Coordinator and they will issue 30 minutes and a stamp in your passport.
To check out all of Dr Tullio Rossi’s work please visit The Coral Garden YouTube page by clicking here.