Over two lakh posts of Anganwadi staff are lying vacant in the country with Bihar alone accounting for 53,000, the government informed the Rajya Sabha today.
Over two lakh posts of Anganwadi staff are lying vacant in the country with Bihar alone accounting for 53,000, the government informed the Rajya Sabha today. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for the Women and Child Development Ministry Virender Kumar also said that the monthly honourarium of the Anganwadi Workers is Rs 3,000, Anganwadi Workers of mini-Anganwadis is Rs 2,250 and Anganwadi helpers is Rs 1,500. Anganwadis are government-sponsored mother and child care centres.
Asked whether Anganwadi workers were facing increasing responsibilities and work expectation while they are paid mere honoraria, Kumar said in addition to the monthly honourarium of the Anganwadi staff, they are paid extra for additional work assigned to them. He said Anganwadi workers and Anganwadi helpers are selected by district level committee in the states and Union territories from time to time. He also said that the states and Union territories have been asked to delegate powers to district magistrates and district commissioners in 115 ‘aspirational districts’ to recruit Anganwadi Workers and helpers.
According to the figures provided by the ministry, in 2017-18, there are about 1,06,055 posts of Anganwadi workers lying vacant out of a total of 14 lakh sanctioned positions while about 1,16,293 positions of Anganwadi helpers were lying vacant out of 1166857 posts. Bihar is reported to have the highest number of vacant posts of Anganwadi workers at 26,835 out of 1,15,009 sanctioned positions and 26,764 of Anganwadi helpers out of 1,07,894 sanctioned posts.
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Andaman and Nicobar islands, Lakshadweep and Punducherry have zero vacant posts. The minister also informed that out of the sanctioned 14 lakh Anganwadi centres to the states and Union territories, 13.63 lakh Anganwadi centres have become operational and 173.35 of pregnant and lactating mothers were receiving supplementary nutrition at the Anganwadi centres. Kumar also said that about 326.91 lakh children from 3 to 6 years of age attended the Anganwadi centres for pre-school non-formal education.
The Anganwadi services under the Integrated Child Development Services scheme envisage the Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers as “honourary workers” from the local community who come forward to render their services on part time basis in the area of child care and development. About Rs 15,09,431 was sanctioned for Anganwadi schemes in 2017-18 with Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra being the highest receipts of funds at Rs 215246, Rs 116645 and Rs 102957 respectively.