Monitoring of ICDS is Poor in Delhi
By – Arvind Singh
The Government of NCT of Delhi, constituted through a notification dated 30th August 2012 District Level Monitoring and Review Committee (DLMRC) (for each District) on Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to review the overall progress in implementation with regard to status of operationalization of sanctioned Projects/AWCs, Coverage of Beneficiaries, Regularity in supply and quality of supplementary nutrition at AWCs, nutritional status of children 0-3 years and 3-6 years, coordination and convergence with line departments/programmes and other issues relating to programme implementation in the respective district. The terms of the said committee shall be for two years from the date of issue of the notification.
The committee will meet at least once in a quarter or as and when required on the notice of the chairperson and will submit its review report to the Chief Secretary/ Secretary (WCD) clearly outlining actions taken at the districts level and support required from the state Govt. Similarly, the Government of NCT of Delhi, constituted through a Notification Dated 7th September 2012 Sub-Divisional Level Monitoring and Review Committee (SDMMRC) (for each Sub-Divisional level) on Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
In accordance to the notification for District and Sub-Divisional Level Monitoring we sought the information from the Department in concern to the work done in last two years at multiple levels. The information which we received from the concerned District and Sub-Divisional Level was surprising when not a single meeting was convened in last two years in any district at any level. Prior to this District and Sub-Divisional Level, Department of WCD constituted the State Level Monitoring and Review Committee way back in 2010, however, there is no information about its functioning unless and until the RTIs is being filed in the department. When we accessed the status of State Level Monitoring Mechanism for each State/UTs issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development we found we found the information nil in respect to monitoring done by Village Health and Sanitation Committees, at Ward level, anganwadi centre level, district level and at state level.
It is to be noted that in Delhi there is no provision for community based monitoring which allow the beneficiaries of ICDS to monitor the services given by the Department. The Department of Women and Child Development in its Annual Programme Implementation Plan 2013-14 admitted that lack of community base monitoring is one of the serious constraints in monitoring and supervision of ICDS services. Hence, the Department in its annual programmatic plan has mentioned that it will make the earnest efforts to form an anganwadi level monitoring and support committee to ensure coverage of all eligible beneficiaries and monitoring of different activities of anganwadi centres. However, till date there is not related process has been initiated by the department in respect to strengthening of the programme through multiple levels monitoring mechanism.
ICDS is a community driven programme for children under six, pregnant women and lactating mothers and adolescent girls run through Anganwadi Centres which are visualized as the Focal Contact Centre for nutrition and health related issues.