The full form of ICDS is the Integrated Child Development Services. It is a government program that provides nutritional meals, preschool education, primary healthcare, immunization, health check-up, and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mother. Read on to know more about ICDS.
Background of ICDS
ICDS was formed in 1975 conferring to the National Policy for Children in India. By this time ICDS has grown to become one of the largest integrated family and community welfare schemes in the world. The Government of India is committed to ensuring the universal availability of the program.
Objectives of ICDS
- Encouraging the nutritional and health status of children under six years
- Providing treatments to promote children’s overall development; social, physical, and psychological
- Reducing the number of deaths, illnesses, undernourished babies, and school dropouts
- Looking after mothers’ health post-birth and educating them about the importance of meeting their children’s nutritional and educational needs
Initiatives of ICDS
- Providing Supplementary Nutrition
- Nutrition and Health Education
- Conducting Health checkup
- Referral services
- Offering Pre-school education(Non-Formal)
- Contraceptive counseling for adolescents
Impact of ICDS
ICDS is considered a successful scheme by the Government of India. A report of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka showed significant improvement in the mental and social development of all children irrespective of their gender. A report of 1992 by the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development demonstrated improvements in birth-weight and infant mortality of Indian children along with improved immunization and nutrition.
Apart from that. several reports claimed that ICDS can improve long-term health and educational outcomes of adolescents and adults.
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