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ICDS projects cover 3.45 lakh beneficiaries in Nagaland: Sazo

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Welfare and Child & Women Development Chotisuh Sazo has said that 59 Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) projects are operating in Nagaland at present, covering 3.45 lakh beneficiaries under Anganwadi centres.

Stating that one of the greatest achievements of DAN Government was the creation of several new Anganwadi Centres (AWC), sanctioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and nearing completion, Sazo said that since 2009-10, the number of Anganwadi Centres increased and now the state has a total of 3455 Anganwadi Centres with equal number of Anganwadi workers and helpers.

Talking to media persons, Sazo also stated that the honorarium of Anganwadi workers has been enhanced from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 and that of Anganwadi helpers from Rs 700 to Rs 1500. He further said the State Government has sought sanction for additional 525 Anganwadi Centres, but the sanction is yet to be received.

Regarding Old Age Pension scheme, the Parliamentary Secretary stated that it has been enhanced from Rs 200 to Rs 300 for persons below 80 years while persons above 80 years from Rs 300 to Rs 500. Sazo informed that the objective of the Social Welfare Department, created in 1968 is to provide social security and social defence services to vulnerable sections of the society.

Sazo said the department by providing such services aims to enable the poorer and most neglected sections of the society to improve their living standards and added that the motto of the department is to uplift the mothers and children in distress, weaker section of the people, old aged, destitute etc.

He also highlighted the key purposes of the department which include welfare of women and children; welfare of handicapped, protection and care of orphans, destitute and aged, social defence including probation and after care, adoption services, juvenile justice service and promotion of the voluntary sector in welfare programme.
Sazo said the DAN government after returning to power for the second term in 2008 under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio promised to ‘provide benefit to the people’.

In this direction, he said the DAN Government has taken many steps to deal with the problems, adding that in the last four and half years, honorarium of anganwadi workers has been doubled while that of helpers has also been increased. The number of beneficiaries of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension (IGNOAP) has also been increased from 28053 to 46483 during the period, he said.

Highlighting some of the achievements of the DAN-II during the last 4½ years, he said in 2010 a new flagship programme – Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) - was launched which opened 193 job avenues for educated unemployed youth and provided effective services to the children.

District Child Protection Officers (DCPOs) offices were established and juvenile justice board and child welfare committees constituted in all the districts.
Further, during 2011-12, the Government of India has introduced a scheme SABLA for adolescent girls while the scheme is being implemented in the state on experimental basis in 19 projects covering 28387 beneficiaries, imparting promotional vocational skills as well as home based skills along with providing their nutritional needs.

The GoI has also introduced a scheme called Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyoh Yojana during 2011-12 for pregnant women and lactating mothers with the objectives to improve the health and nutrition status of pregnant, lactating women and infant, he stated. In Nagaland, Kohima district is implementing the scheme and 1544 beneficiaries have benefited from it till date. He also said that the scheme would be expanded to other parts of the State if it is found be beneficial for the tribal population.

He also said eight new posts of DPOs along with subordinate officers and staff in 2010 were created in Kohima, Mokokchung, Tuensang, Mon, Phek, Zunheboto, Wokha and Dimapur districts.

Informing that 76 posts under ICDS were created, he said the State Government has also created 3 new ICDS projects at Athibung and Nsong in Peren district and Asuto in Zunheboto district, while adding that proposals have also been sent for more ICDS projects in the state.

Informing that sanction has already been done for establishment of new DPO office for Peren and one new ICDS project at Chizami village, Phek district, he said this projects would be implemented within this year while similar projects for Longleng and Kiphire are in the pipeline.
He also informed that the Government has already upgraded CDPOs to that of Class-I (Junior) grade. He said with a view to look into the welfare of the people with disability, the State Cabinet has also appointed a full time Commissioner & Secretary for Disability.

Sazo further said Kishori Shakti Yojana is being implemented in Nagaland for the non-school going and school dropout adolescent girls between the age group of 11 to 18 years.
Altogether, 33686 adolescent girls are covered under the ICDS projects.

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