A BRAND NEW ANGANWADI CENTRE IN MALLIGURKI
Mittemari Gram Panchayat, Bagepalli Taluk, Chikkaballapur District
The fear of a collapsing building, especially during the rainy season, became a nightmare for the teacher of Malligurki Anganwadi Centre, who had to run her Anganwadi Centre (AWC) at a rented place for the last fifteen years.
The challenges of the rented space turned into an Anganwadi Centre were many. The place was too small to accommodate even fifteen students. No space to play or for cooking mid-day meals, leaking roofs and the absence of a toilet, the problems were many!
This Anganwadi Centre was not even close to anything a parent would want to send their child to. It was unfit to satisfy the basic requirements of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) components.
"Due to the space constraint, I would take the class under a tree. But this was difficult during the rainy season. For fifteen years, I had to operate the Anganwadi Centre out of a rented and unsafe space.", said Shivamma, Anganwadi Worker.
When Shivamma's hope turned to despair, United Way Bengaluru's and CSR partner Flowserve's support was a dream come true for Shivamma and the children of Malligurki Anganwadi Centre. Under the 'Rural Rising' program, a new Anganwadi Centre was constructed. It was strengthened with facilities to make it a conducive learning and development space for children. Facilities provided included a spacious classroom painted and beautified with mural art, a kitchen with selves, a store room and a child-friendly toilet. The centre building and classroom were also equipped with resources like boards, lights, electricity, an anti-skid floor, and a ramp.
"This Anganwadi Centre is my pride, and I feel good working here. Children's enrollment has increased in this new centre as parents are happy to send their children to this kind of centre which is safe, appealing and appropriate for children's development."
The Anganwadi worker (Shivamma) is very satisfied as she now has the "freedom" to organise different learning activities for children and parents. They celebrated occasions like Independence Day and Children's Day at their campus for the first time. It was impossible to conduct these events in the previous centre. Organising the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programs related to supplementary nutrition and immunisation of children and other ICDS beneficiaries like adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women was challenging. This new centre has become an active place for conducting many such programs like 'Seemantham' baby shower programs for community women; 'Poshan Abhiyan' program to address nutrition among children, adolescent girls and women etc.
United Way Bengaluru's intervention towards strengthening the AWC is a preliminary yet significant step towards building a robust early childhood care and development foundation that will consequently impact young children's growth, development and learning.