The earlier adolescent girls scheme has now been modified as various baseline surveys clearly reveal that the health, nutrition, education and social status of adolescent girls are at sub-optimal level. The surveys also reveal that the adolescent girls do not have adequate access to vital health and nutrition information/Services/Programmes aimed at improving the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls and promoting self-development, awareness of health, hygiene, nutrition, family welfare and management. It is well recognized, that these programmes when provided, could significantly improve the health and nutritional status of women and children and promote the decision making capabilities of women. There has also been persistent demand from the State Governments/UT Administrations on the urgent need to provide cover of ICDS to adolescent girls in all the ICDS Projects. In view of this, a need has been felt to extend the coverage of the scheme with content enrichment, strengthen the training component particularly in vocational aspects aimed at empowerment & enhanced self perception and bring about convergence with other programmes of similar nature of education, rural development, employment and health sectors. Accordingly, now revised guidelines have been given to State Governments/UT Administration for implementation of AG scheme as a component of ICDS Scheme by renaming the scheme as Kishori Shakti Yojna in all 35 ICDS Projects.
The objectives of the scheme are as follows:-
- To improve the nutritional and health status of girls in the age group of 11-18 years.
- To provide the required literacy and innumeracy skills through the non-formal stream of education, to stimulate a desire for more social exposure and knowledge and to help them improve their decision making capabilities.
- To train and equip the adolescent girls to improve/upgrade home-based and vocational skills.
- To promote awareness of health, hygiene, nutrition and family welfare, home management and child care, and to take all measure as to facilitate their marrying only after attaining the age of 18 years and if possible, even later,
- To gain a better understanding of their environment related social issues and the impact on their lives and
- To encourage adolescent girls to initiate various activities to be productive and useful members of the society.
Thus, all adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years will receive the following common services:-
- Educational activities through non-formal & functioned literacy pattern.
- A general health check up every six months
- Treatment for minor ailments
- De worming
- Prophylaxis measures against anemia, goiter, vitamin deficiencies etc.
- Referral to PHC/District Hospital in the case of acute need
- Convergence with Reproductive Child Health Scheme.
All unmarried adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years and belonging to families whose income is below Rs.6400/- per annum in the rural areas will be eligible to receive additional services under the scheme.
GIRL TO GIRL APPROACH (FOR GIRLS IN THE AGE GROUP OF 11-15 YEARS)
In each selected Anganwari area 2 girls in the age group of 11-15 years will be identified. These adolescent girls would be provided with a meal on the same scale of the pregnant women or nursing mother namely one that would provide 500 calories of energy and 20 gms. of protein. The 2 girls so identified are to receive in service training at the Anganwari from the worker and supervisor over a period of six months to become fully equipped individuals, capable of managing the center on their own, so as to fully realize the objectives in all aspects, of the Anganwari worker, including management of stores, the organization of the feeding programme, immunization schedules, weightment of children, home visits, pre-school activities etc.
BALIKA MANDAL (FOR GIRLS IN THE AGE GROUP 15-18 YEARS)
While it is essential to concentrate on the adolescent girls from the earliest stages i.e. from 11 years onward, the crucial age from the point of view of her transformation to adulthood starts from the time she nears 15 years. Thus scheme has more focus on social and mental development of girls mainly in the age group 15-18 years. Special emphasis would be laid to motivate and involve the uneducated groups belonging to this age group in non-formal education and improvement and up gradation of home based skills.
PERIOD OF ACTIVE ENROLLMENT
The need is to provide non-formal education, develop literacy skills and improve the home based skills among adolescent girls. The period of an adolescent girls active enrollment in the Balika Mandal would vary from the one adolescent girl to another, depending upon her previous educational background, her power to grasp, her possessions of a home based skill and allied factors. For the purpose of calculating the financial requirement, however, it is presumed that, on an average, an adolescent girl may be active in a Balika Mandal for a period of six months with an average attendance of about 20 adolescent girls, each Balika Mandal may cater to about 40 adolescent girls in a year.
The objectives are to make the adolescent girl understand and learn the significance of personal hygiene, environmental sanitation, nutrition, home nursing, first aid, health and nutrition education, family life, child care and development etc., apart from the facilities for recreation and entertainment. In addition, efforts have to be made to improve and upgrade home based skills popular in trades or having potential, in the local areas.
The existing Anganwarai center is to be used for the activities of the Balika Mandal as well, if that center does not have adequate space, efforts would be made to enlarge the center, or to have separate accommodation with the community’s contribution wherever practicable, or with assistance under the Development of Women and Child in Rural Areas, Jawahar Rozgar Yojna etc. Timings of Balika Mandal are other than those of anganwari and are decided as per convenience of the adolescent girls.
The scheme for adolescent girls was put into operation w.e.f. 1st November, 1991. Now the scheme has been renamed as Kishori Shakti Yojna. As no separate budget is available and nutrition is to be provided from the State Sector, the beneficiaries are provided supplementary nutrition through ICDS under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme.
In NCT of Delhi, 3 rural projects have been selected for implementing the scheme which are as under with number of anganwaries in each ICDS/Projects.
1. Kanjhawala - 113 Aanganwari
2. Mehrauli - 150 Anganwari
3. Alipur - 115 Anganwari
From the current financial year, this scheme will implement in all 35 ICDS projects. There is a physical target of 8800 beneficiaries to be covered under this programme. It is proposed to provide supplementary nutrition @ Rs.2.20/- per day from the Plan Funds.