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A community-led Anganwadi program was formally launched in April 2016 as a pilot initiative in 10 villages within Tuensang District. The aim of the program is to converge the Health and Nutrition Initiatives in order to improve the health outcomes of the beneficiaries in the implementing villages.
The program would provide hot cooked meals as nutrition support to Pregnant and Lactating Mothers and Children up to 6 years of age. It would also serve as a point for delivering health information and services such as immunization and antenatal care services for both mothers and children and a pre-shool platform for children below 6 years.
Since its inception, the community has been the forerunner of the feeding program. The committee set up by ECS in all the villages proved to be very proactive in all matters concerning implementation. In its more than 20 years of experience engaging in community building, ECS has learned that community involvement and ownership are key to the success of any development or welfare program. Therefore, with this understanding, the idea of communitizing the Anganwadi program was conceived and steps were made to advocate with the government for transferring control of the implementation process over to the community.
From regular monitoring checks to ensuring the functioning of workers, coordinating ration distributions, and problem solving operational issues such as water shortage, repair works in the Anganwadi centres, the involvement of the community in the implementation of the program has been a huge success.
When Covid-19 hit the community, the committee members could not come to the town to collect the amount to buy supplies for the Anganwadi centre, ECS purchased and packaged all the supplies for each beneficiary which was then transported to the village with travel approval from the District Administration. The committee and the Anganwadi workers really came forward to help the program stay running during the entire pandemic period by distributing the supplies to the homes of all the beneficiaries.