How India's anganwadi system is getting some things very right despite its many flaws -Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta

-The Hindu

ICDS is the world’s biggest mother and child nutrition and care programme

It is an early spring morning. We are walking deep inside hilly country in Karnataka’s Malnad region. When the monsoon comes, rainfall will be intense in these parts, and will continue for many months. This is coffee terrain.

With the great tall trees above us, and the plantation ahead of us, we have been walking on this narrow path for a while now. A turn ahead; the path narrows further, then opens into a small courtyard. A modest, single-storey structure comes into sight. The local anganwadi.

Outside, the ground has been swept clean and decorated with a rangoli. On the side is a neat line of children’s shoes.

The hall is long, with a low tiled roof. The children come running up to us. Along the length of the walls are painted murals of the fauna of the nearby Nagarhole forest: tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, deer.

Sunlight spills on to the cool floor. We sit cross-legged in a circle with the children. Circle time gives a feeling of warmth and trust.

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The Hindu, 9 March, 2019,

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