The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has been started by the Government of India in 1975, instrumental in improving the health and wellbeing of mothers and children under 6 by providing health and nutrition education, health services, supplementary food, and pre-school education. ICDS Scheme represents one of the world’s largest and most unique programmes for early childhood development, it reaches more than 34 million children aged 0-6 years and 7 million pregnant and lactating mothers. ICDS is the foremost symbol of India’s commitment to her children – India’s response to the challenge of providing pre-school education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality, on the other
The objective behind launching of ICDS-
- To improve the nutritional status of preschool children 0-6 years of age group.
- To lay the foundation of proper psychological development of the child
- To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity malnutrition and school drop out
- To achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation in various departments to promote child development.
- To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.