Gujarat first state to provide uniforms for anganwadi kids

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tuesday initiated a state-wide pre-school uniform distribution programme for students of 53,029 anganwadis in the state.

The Gujarat government has decided to provide uniforms to 14 lakh Anganwadi students, making it the first state to take such a decision.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tuesday initiated a state-wide pre-school uniform distribution programme for students of 53,029 anganwadis in the state.

However, with new instructions issued by the state government to keep the anganwadis closed until July 13, the local bodies have deferred the distribution of pre-school uniforms to the other students that were to be held following the symbolic event held in Gandhinagar by Rupani.

While speaking at the event, Rupani expressed confidence that the state will soon tide over the pandemic to be able to reopen schools and anganwadis. Rupani said that the government has decided to distribute uniforms to over 14 lakh anganwadi children to instil a sense of unity with other children of their age. Rupani said, “A section of children attend private pre-primary schools, wear uniforms and feel proud. With a similar objective, the state government decided to give uniform to all Anganwadi children so that even our children should not be left behind, have a distinctive identity and feel confident.”

Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Vibhav-ariben Dave stated in her virtual address, “Gujarat is the first state to give uniforms to over 14 lakh anganwadi children at a cost of Rs 36 crore. When private nursery schools can have uniforms, why not anganwadi children? They will look smart in uniforms and also attract other children to the anganwadis.” Under the scheme, each child will be given two sets of uniforms — a grey pinafore skirt for girls and grey shorts for boys, with beige check shirts for both.

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation joined the virtual event and handed out uniforms to six children. The civic body will ask their parents to return the uniforms to the anganwadi staff for the time being, until the government issues instructions to reopen the anganwadi.

Dr Devesh Patel, Medical Officer for Health, VMC, told The Indian Express, “The distribution of the uniforms, which arrived earlier, will be held when the Anganwadi is allowed to reopen. As per the instructions received to keep the Anganwadi closed, the ICDS department will ask the parents of the six children to return the uniforms so that they can be used when the Anganwadis reopen. If the children use the uniforms while the Anganwadi is closed, the purpose of the exercise will be defeated as it is meant to instil a sense of discipline and unity at pre-school.”

In a circular dated June 28 (a copy of which is with The Indian Express) issued by WCD Commis-sioner to various municipal corporations and district administrations in the state, the government has extended the closure of the Anganwadis for a period of 15 days until July 13. VMC officials said that the communication was received on Tuesday, ensuring that the distribution of 16,148 uniforms to over 8,000 children of 399 anganwadis in Vadodara was deferred to comply with the order.

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