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Friday, April 29, 2011

Anganwadi centres 'useless' for Delhi residents: survey

Plagued by numerous problems such as lack of infrastructure, Anganwadi centres (AWC) are considered "useless" by residents of Delhi, according to a survey.

The survey was conducted across seven districts of Delhi, eaching having one AWC responsible for mother and child care.

"There is lack of infrastructure, wages are low, there is unavailability of space for children to play and educational facilities are also missing," survey said.

"For informal sector workers who have irregular incomes that fall below minimum wages, a working Anganwadi can be a lifesaver," survey revealed.

There are approximately 7,500 children between ages 0-6 in these districts. The survey found that 30 per cent of children born in these districts were under-weight, 63 were born anemic and there is a glaring gap in the under five mortality between the urban poor (73. 6 per 1000 births) and the urban rich (41.8 per 1000 births).

The most damaging effects of under-nutrition occur during pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life. This is a leading factor behind India's high infant mortality and morbidity rates.

However, Survey said, "If government does timely investment in terms of resources, staff and planning, these child deaths and diseases are entirely preventable."

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