VISAKHAPATNAM: The Union Minister of State, Ministry of Women and Child Development Dr. Mahendrabhai Munjaparasaid that with 8 years of tireless commitment and drive to promote, protect and empower the women and children of this nation, the Government has made several efforts and policy interventions that have shown fruitful results.

Addressing the South Zonal Conference on Aspirational Districts conducted here on Thursday, the minister said that 708 ‘one-stop centers’ have been operational in India since 2015 and over 5.2 lakh women have been supported by these centers.

The conference was attended by Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, besides Andhra Pradesh.

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He emphasized that the Nirbhaya Fund constituted by the Centre has supported 34 new projects or schemes with targeted interventions which have been appraised taking the total amount to nearly Rs. 10 thousand Crore, adding that the purpose of the fund is to enhance the protection and security and make the public spaces safer for women.

The Minister said, in the last 5 years, the union government distributed nearly 12 lakh growth monitoring devices and over 11 lakh smartphones to Anganwadi workers and rolled out the POSHAN tracker, to improve governance and identify and ensure the treatment of malnourished children.

He said there are over 12 lakh pucca Anganwadi Centres across the country having drinking water facilities and 11 lakh plus centers having functional toilets with the aim to strengthen infrastructure in all remaining Anganwadis.

He summed up the goals of the Government’s efforts which remain in promoting holistic and balanced nutrition, ensuring empowerment, safety, and protection of women and children under the 3 umbrella Missions – Poshan, Shakti, and Vatsalya.

Earlier, the Secretary, Women, and Child Development Indevar Pandey, in his opening remarks, laid more emphasis on the nutritional needs of the country which needs to be given utmost importance, as India is one of the youngest populated countries in the world which needs to be healthy for the country to be prosperous and developed. He emphasized the need to have more qualified and trained Anganwadis for the successful implementation of Poshan along with Education.

Speaking about Visakhapatnam, the urban areas of which are well developed, and the need of conducting the Aspirational Districts’ conference in the city, Pandey said the district has huge tracts of tribal areas which are underdeveloped and are languishing in backwardness. He said the Union government wants an overall development in all pockets of the country.

Collectors and District Magistrates from Aspirational Districts representing Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu explained the measures being implemented in their respective districts for women and child development.

The meeting was attended by Mission Director, Aspirational Districts Programmes Niti Aayog, GOI, Rakesh Ranjan, Minister for Women & Child, Differently Abled and Senior Citizens of Andhra Pradesh. Usha Sri Charan, Principal Secretary (WCD) to Government of AP, AR Anuradha, Addl. Secretary (WCD) Government of India, Aditi Das Rout, also participated.



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