Dhani Ram Shandil

In the first meeting of National Mission Steering Group at New Delhi today, Dr (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment said that the State Government would enhance the honorarium of Mini Anganwadi Workers from present Rs. 1750 per month to Rs. 2500 per month and the hike will be applicable from 1st April, 2013.

He said that besides enhancement in the honorarium the Mini Anganwadi Workers would also get the arrears of the balance amount from 1st April, 2013. The Minister urged Government of India for financial assistance for re-construction of Anganwadi Centres on the pattern of Uttrakhand as the Anganwadi Centres in district Kinnaur suffered massive damages. He said that sufficient financial assistance should be made for developing the infrastructure.

The Minister urged GoI for special grant on the pattern of Uttrakhand State as the State suffered heavy damages in the flash floods occurred in June, 2013 due to untimely incessant rains and snow.

Dr (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil said that I C D S would be put up under Mission Mode in the State during the 12th five year plan. Initially, three districts viz. Kangra, Kinnaur and Sirmour will be put up under Mission Mode from current financial year and added that restructured and strengthened I C D S Mission would be rolled out in the state by the year 2015. He said that all districts of the State would be put under Mission Mode by the year 2014-15.

He said that various steps have been taken to improve child sex ratio in the State as a result of which the child sex ratio has gone up to 906 in 2011 as compared to 896 in 2001. He said that special scheme like Beti Hia Anmol, Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna, Mother Teresa Asahaye launched in the State for betterment of girl child had shown positive results and latest indicators reveal that female sex ratio has gone up to 974 per thousand male and female literacy had increased from 67.42% to 76.6%. He said that women work participation rate had been achieved at 32.8% of main work force which was higher than the national average. He said that 57% women had been elected in Panchayati Raj Institutions while 60% women have been elected to Urban Local Bodies in the State.

Dr (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil said that construction of Anganadi Centres would be taken up in all the villages of the State and added that at present state Govt is providing funds for construction of Anganwadi Centres from State budget @Rs 2.50 lakh per Anganwadi Bhawan in the State. He said that under the I C D S mission mode, 2600 Anganwadi Centres would be constructed in Kangra, Sirmour and Kinnaur districts during the 12th five year plan and added that at present around 9500 Anganwadi Centres were being run in rented buildings in the State. He requested the Central Government to sanction 3.25 crore to the State Government under mission mode for construction of Anganwadis in the State.

The Minister said that 4.26 lakh children between age group of 0-6 years and 1.03 lakh expectant and nursing mothers had been covered under the Special Nutritional programme in the state while 1.35 lakh adolescent girls were being provided supplementary nutrition in the State. He said that only 0.5% children were severely malnourished and State Government was focussing on improving nutritional level of children below three years of age. He requested the Central Government to keep the proportion of cost sharing between centre and state to present level of 90:10 to the hilly areas like Himachal Pradesh keeping in view the high infrastructure cost due to tough geographical conditions.

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