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One lakh girls in 11-14 age group brought back to mainstream education: Govt sources

June 13, 2023

About one lakh adolescent girls in the 11-14 age group who dropped out of schools have been brought back to the mainstream education, government sources said on June 12.

Over the years there has been a significant decline in the numbers reported by states of drop-out girls in the age group of 11-14 years, they said.

In 2013-14, states and Union territories put the figure at 1.14 crore. It came down to five lakh in 2020-21, to 3.8 lakh in 2021-22 and finally to about one lakh in July last year.

The drop in number reflects that many fake beneficiaries and wrong entries have been removed, the sources said.

“These one lakh girls have since been brought back to the mainstream education and then the scheme (for adolescent girls) was revised,” a senior official, who did not wish to be named, said.

The Scheme for Adolescent Girls in the age group of 11-14 years have been discontinued and a revised scheme has been introduced and subsumed under the Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 Mission.

In the revised SAG which covers girls in the 14-18 age group in aspirational and northeast region districts, as many as 22.40 lakh adolescent girls have been identified.

“Out of 22 lakh, Aadhaar seeding of 19 lakh has been done,” the official said.

Also, the official said, Poshan Tracker which monitors and tracks activities of identified anganwadi centres on real-time basis has 9.38 crore Aadhaar-seeded beneficiaries out of a total of 10.06 crore.

The official 10 lakh anganwadi centres have been geo-tagged and the work is on for the remaining centres.

The official said an age-appropriate take home ration is being designed for children up to six years of group and a proposal has been sent to the finance ministry.

The government is also carrying out Aadhaar-seeding of migrant workers so that they can avail the benefits of anganwadi scheme throughout the country, the official said.

“Till now, 57,000 migrant workers have started benefiting from it. This is an indication that within states and between states coordination has increased,” the official said.

The official said, “We identified 2 lakh anganwadis to make them ‘saksham’ and we have to make them so by 2025-26. In the first year in 2022-23, we had an aim to do 40,000. We managed to make 41,000 saksham anganwadi and the number would be 81,000 by year end,” the official said.

Under the programme to upgrade mini-anganwadi to full-fledged anganwadi, the official said 1.60 lakh mini anganwadis have been identified for upgrade.

Meanwhile, Women and Child Development Ministry officials said malnutrition figures remain inconsistent. Under the National Family Health Survey-5, 7.7 per cent children were shown to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 19.3% children under SAM and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) cumulatively. However, WCD Ministry data from Poshan Tracker shows that only 2.27 per cent children suffer from SAM and 7.06 per cent from SAM and MAM.

Source: PTI

Also Read: ‘Baal Satra’ to be organised in HP Vidhan Sabha on June 12

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