In this Gujarat district, ‘smart’ anganwadis are boosting child healthcare post Covid | Meta Stories of Strength 2022 News,The Indian Express
Project SAAHAS, a public-private collaboration, is working to empower anganwadi workers in Gujarat's Hansot.
Project SAAHAS, a public-private collaboration, is working to empower anganwadi workers in Gujarat’s Hansot.
HANSOT: On a Wednesday morning in Dhamrad, a village about 50 kilometres from Surat, 15 children at an anganwadi are reciting a poem. The poem is rather grim, about a cat in a saari being eaten up by a crocodile. The children, however, sing cheerfully, karaoke-ing along to a TV mounted on the wall: “Magar biladi khayi gayo (The crocodile swallowed the cat)!”
“They love watching their nursery rhymes on TV, they get really excited,” laughs Daksha ben, the anganwadi caretaker. After some more rhymes, the children – aged three to six – move to their desks. which have games like Ludo and Snakes and Ladders painted on them. With the kids playing, Daksha will now supervise the cooking of their afternoon meal, of rice, daal and gram.
The Dhamrad anganwadi is different from the usual government-run childcare centres in villages. It is a ‘smart’ anganwadi, brightly painted, equipped with toys, puzzle books, and a TV set. The walls, along with birds, animals and cartoon characters, are painted with information on healthy eating and washing hands properly.
The anganwadi has been refurbished under Project SAAHAS, a collaboration between the Gujarat government; the Indrashil Kaka-Ba and Kala Budh Public Charitable Trust, which is the CSR arm of drug company Cadila Pharmaceuticals; and consulting firm Global Health Strategies Institute (GHSi). The other ‘smart’ anganwadi is in village Uthraj, also in Hansot taluka.