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Smriti Irani

Government launches anganwadi protocol to track children with disabilities

November 28, 2023

On Tuesday, the government unveiled a national protocol aimed at training anganwadi workers to identify and assist children with disabilities. This marks the first instance of anganwadi workers raising awareness on this issue, noted Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani. She emphasized the transformative impact this initiative could have on communities, describing it as a silent revolution. The Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang Children seeks to alter mindsets by promoting the understanding that disability is not a societal challenge but an opportunity for collective assistance to children.

Minister Irani underscored the alignment of this protocol with the National Education Policy-2020, which prioritizes integrating divyang students into mainstream schools. The initiative aims to leverage grassroots-level data collected by anganwadi workers, facilitating tracking through the Poshan tracker. The anganwadi ecosystem, engaging over eight crore children daily from birth to six years, serves as a crucial access point for nurturing the foundation of the country’s children.

The National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage 2022 and the Draft National Policy for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) (2021) stress early detection and intervention for preventable disabilities. The Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi program aligns with these principles, advocating for a play-based and activity-based learning approach, particularly tailored to the diverse needs of divyang children. The program’s targeted focus on enhancing the skills of 13.9 lakh anganwadi centers reflects a commitment to fortifying the foundation for India’s future generations.

Also read: Govt training Anganwadi workers in ECCE, learning modules for children aged 3-6: Irani

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