Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, in the presence of Minister of State for MWCD, Dr. Virendra Kumar conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for Exceptional Achievements for the year 2017-18, here today. The award is given to motivate the AWWs and recognise their exemplary service in the field of child development and related areas under the ICDS Scheme. The awards are given annually. The Award at the National Level comprises of a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and a citation. State Level award comprises of a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 and a citation.Addressing at the event, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the condition of Anganwadi workers and helpers has improved significantly in the past 4 and a half years. Enumerating the improvements like increase in honorarium, better promotion avenues, health insurance, better work environment among others, she urged that AWWs should focus on their prime duty of timely feeding the children and nourishing them. Mentioning that large funds are lost on fake beneficiaries in Anganwadis which could otherwise be utilised for better services, she appealed to the AWWs that they should become the Ministry’s eyes and ears in bringing out the cases of fake enrolment of children, if any in Anganwadis around them.
Present at the function, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr. Virendra Kumar congratulated the exemplary work of AWWs and for playing pivotal role in proper implementation of the dream project of Prime Minister in Poshan Abhiyan. He lauded their efforts and said they had been the crucial drivers of making India malnutrition free. Earlier welcoming the awardees, Secretary, Ministry of Women& Child Development, Shri Rakesh Srivastava, said that Government of India formulated a scheme for awarding Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) at the National and State Levels in the year 2000-2001. He said that this year the number of awardees and the prize money had been doubled. From this year, the cash prize of National Level has been increased from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000. He also said that a proposal to incentivise smart phone usage by Anganwadi workers at workplace has been approved. He said that with these 97 awardees for this year from all across India, the achievement awards for all the years have been conferred till date without any backlog.As per guidelines, National Level awards to AWWs are given to the awardees nominated by States/UTs out of the State/UT Level awardees. The number of nominations of AWWs at National Level depends on the size of the State/UT and operational ICDS Projects. The number of awards has also been doubled.The nominations received from the States/UTs are screened and recommended by a Screening Committee headed by Secretary, MWCD. The selection of awardees is made by the Selection Committee headed by Hon’ble Minister for Women & Child Development.