he Women and Child Development Ministry said that about 8 lakh fake beneficiaries have been found registered across 1.09 lakh anganwadis in Maharashtra.
Out of 61 anganwadis in total, 8 lakhs have been tainted as fake, a senior WCD official said.
Objective of Anganwadi
- The government of Indi developed anganwadis or rural childcare centres to combat undernutrition and stunting among children below the age of six years. The anganwadis also give nutritious food to lactating mothers
- The ministry funds Rs 4.8 and the state government contributes Rs 3.2 for food per day for every child, the official said.
Identification of fake beneficiaries in Anganwadi
The number of fake beneficiaries was identified when the registrations were linked to Aadhar.
The identification and elimination of fake beneficiaries registered in various anganwadis across the country are an ‘ongoing process’.
The process was started in July after the Assam government found 14 lakh fake beneficiaries during a physical identification of children.
In Uttar Pradesh, over 14 lakh ‘fake children’ have been found registered across 1.88 lakh anganwadis in the state.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, directed all state government to verify the number of children who have a genuine need to be fed.
There are around 14 lakh anganwadis across the country and 10 crore beneficiaries, which include children under the age of six and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
About one crore fake beneficiaries registered in various anganwadis have been identified and eliminated in September, said the WCD Minister.
Identifying fake beneficiaries through technology
Smartphones played a great role in the identification of the fake beneficiaries, through Child Development Services-Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) application.
It has been distributed to about 1.2 lakh anganwadi centres and the ministry aims to increase its coverage to 14 lakh centres by the end of the year, officials said.
The nutrition monitoring app has been developed under the Poshan Abhiyan, also called the National Nutrition Mission, which aims to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.