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Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)
Integrated Child Development Services is a government programme in India which provides food, preschool education, primary healthcare, immunization, health check-up, and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
The various vertical health programmes initiated by the Government of India (GOI) from time to time did not reach out to the target community adequately. In 1974, India adopted a well-defined national policy for children. In pursuance of this policy, it was decided to start a holistic multicentric programme with a compact package of services. The decision led to the formulation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme – one of the most prestigious and premier national human resource development programmes of the GOI.
The main objectives of the scheme are :
- Improvement in the health and nutritional status of children 0–6 years and pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Reduction in the incidence of their mortality and school drop out
- Provision of a firm foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child.
- Enhancement of the maternal education and capacity to look after her own health and nutrition and that of her family
- Effective co-ordination of the policy and implementation among various departments and programmes aimed to promote child development.
The beneficiaries are:
- Children 0–6 years of age
- Pregnant and lactating mothers
- Women 15–44 year of age
- Since 1991 adolescent girls up to the age of 18 years for non-formal education and training on health and nutrition.
The programme provides a package of services facilities like:
- i) Complementary nutrition
- ii) Vitamin A
- iii) Iron and folic acid tablets
- iv) Immunization
- v) Health check-up
- vi) Treatment of minor ailments
- vii) Referral services
- viii) Non-formal education on health and nutrition to women
- ix) Preschool education to children 3–6-year-old and
- x) Convergence of other supportive services like water, sanitation etc.
For more details download the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in PDF format using the link given below.