Anganwadi centres across Odisha to reopen from March 28; fresh guidelines issued

Bhubaneswar: In view of the improvement in COVID-19 situation in the state, Odisha Government has decided to reopen all Anganwadi centres (AWCs) across the state with effects from March 28.

All Anganwadi centres across the state were closed since April 19, 2021 due to the pandemic. During this period, ration items,  in lieu of hot cook meals (HCMs) and eggs, were being provided to children belonging to 3-6 years age group at their doorsteps by Anganwadi workers. Besides, take home ration (THR) and eggs for children in 6 months-3 years age group and pregnant women were also delivered at their doorsteps.

Ahead of reopening of the Anganwadi Centres, the Women and Child Development Department has shot off a letter to all Collectors suggesting a set of guidelines:

  •  The AWCs will be kept open from 7.30 am to 9.30 am 25 days a month. Sitting arrangement for serving of morning snacks and HCMs to preschoolers (3-6 year age group) should be made in such a way that will ensure social distancing among children.
  • Rations, in lieu of HCMs and eggs will be given to the Anganwadi children at their doorsteps, in case of children who are not able to come to AWC due to COVID or some other problem or on closure of AWC.
  • Resumption of preschool education as per Nua Arunima curriculum to be done at AWCs and outdoor activities to be promoted.
  • All other Integrated Child Development Services(ICDS) such as immunization, health checkups, referrals and Nutrition and Health Education (NHEd) are to continue.

In order to ensure that all these activities are taken up, in adherence to COVID-19 protocols, the following mechanisms must be put in place:

  • Anganwadi premises must be kept clean and properly disinfected and sanitized prior to reopening. The assistance of the Health and Family Welfare and Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water authorities may be availed for the purpose.
  •  Handwash facility must be at the entrance with soaps, water and sanitizers. Anyone entering AWC must sanitize hands before entering the center.
  • Children must be motivated to wash their hands for 20 seconds singing ‘Aji Mo Janama Dina’ in order to keep them enthused in the process.
  • Doors and windows of the AWC must be kept open for proper air circulation.
  •  Frequently touched surfaces and sitting and cooking areas must be cleaned and disinfected at regular interval.
  • Anganwadi Workers (AWWs)/ Helpers(AWHs), children and those visiting AWC must wear face masks and maintain social distance for the entire period of stay in AWCs.
  •  Entry of outsiders into AWCs must be restricted. AWW, AWH, Parents, mothers, adolescent girls or Anganwadi children, with ILI and SARI like symptoms, must be requested not to visit AWC. Persons above 65 years of age must also be requested not to visit AWCs.
  • Pregnant and nursing women to visit AWCs for availing ICDS services.
  • Weekly dose of IFA supplementation and ADVIKA activities for out of school adolescent girls ( 10-19 years) and to be done during Kishori Diwas every Saturday at the AWCs.
  • Food hygiene protocols must be strictly adhered to while cooking and serving meals.
  • All AWWs/AWHs should have been fully vaccinated before attending the AWCs. If anyone is not vaccinated, steps should be taken to vaccinate them immediately.


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