Raniganj, West Bengal:
The Anganwadis have a rich and storied past that goes back to 1975 when they were first created by the Government of India as part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme to combat child hunger and malnutrition. Anganwadis also offer basic health care and are an integral part of the Indian public health-care system. However, many Anganwadis face issues such as a lack of skilled human resources and the inadequate infrastructure. Consequently, Essar Foundation has been working towards enhancing the standards of the Anganwadis by providing educational materials like books, alphabet and number blocks, black boards etc. Apart from these, other items such as mats, toys, puzzles, rocking chairs, food grain containers and storage trunks have also been provided to the Anganwadis. So far, 63 Anganwadis have benefitted through the provisions facilitated by the Essar Foundation.
A need assessment survey and regular meetings with ICDS workers and supervisors were conducted prior to the project undertaking. The project has benefited 3,324 children who are up to six years old. Essar Foundation believes in convergence of CSR activities with government schemes and this project is a fine example of sustainable program execution without creating a parallel system of service delivery. The project has also been widely appreciated by government officials like the Child Development Project Officer and District Project Officer, ICDS.