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NLSIU’s Centre for Child and the Law Concludes Study on the Adequacy of Anganwadi Centres in Karnataka

January 20, 2023

NLSIU’s Centre for Child and the Law (CCL) has concluded the study on the adequacy of anganwadi centres (AWCs) in Karnataka’s tribal and urban areas. The study was commissioned by, and conducted in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. The need for the study arose when a PIL was filed in the Karnataka High Court indicating that the number of anganwadi centres in the state was less than the stipulated population ratio. The High Court set up a committee headed by its former judge, Justice AN Venugopala Gowda, to look into the matter. The committee and the High Court directed the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka, to take measures to establish AWCs in places where there was a deficit.

The CCL research team collected and analysed data from across Karnataka’s 31 districts. For each district, they created a comprehensive database consisting of the total population, SC and ST population, and assessed the number of AWCs was adequate. Villages with ST populations of more than 5% were identified and prioritised as part of the data extraction exercise. 

The statistical analysis was followed by visits to 42 AWCs in tribal areas and 30 AWCs in urban areas, in order to analyse the quality of services being provided. Towards this end, the research team analysed how accessible AWCs were, the availability and adequacy of services provided, training and capacity building of anganwadi workers, the quality of education being imparted, physical infrastructure and facilities, as well as their periodic monitoring and evaluation. 

A day-long consultation was organised with stakeholders from tribal regions across Karnataka, including Kodagu, Mysuru, Chamarajanagara, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Karnataka and Udupi. The stakeholders were invited to share their impressions on the status, quality and effectiveness of Anganwadi Centres in these regions, particularly in terms of accessibility, availability and adequacy of services.

AWCs in tribal areas presented distinct challenges. The short and long-term measures suggested by the CCL are intended to help identify these challenges and resolving them in a sustainable manner. Key insights and recommendations flowing from the study will be submitted to the Karnataka State Department of Women and Child Development in January 2023.

Research Team: Dr Neetu Sharma, Ms. Sudha. S, Ms. Jyotsna Sripada, Ms. Shruthi Raman, Mr. Kumaraswamy. T

About the Centre for Child and the Law

The Centre for Child and the Law is a specialised multi-disciplinary research centre of NLSIU. Established in 1996, the centre integrates research, direct field action and teaching on child rights law; and uses law and socio-legal strategies as tools for transformative social change in order to enable children to live with dignity. The specific aim of CCL is to ensure social justice, human rights and quality of life for all children in India, with special focus on equitable quality education, care, protection and justice for marginalised and excluded children.