Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the provision of uniforms worth ₹ 36 crore to 14 lakh pre-school students across 53,029 Anganwadis in the state. He commenced the programme at a virtual event in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, June 29, stating that this is aimed to foster unity among the Anganwadi students and the private school students of the same age.
The programme will provide each child with two sets of uniforms– grey shorts for boys, a grey pinafore skirt for girls, and beige check shirts for both.
Aimed To Instill Unity Among Students
Rupani said that he was confident that the state would soon get through the pandemic and reopen its Anganwadis and schools. On the motive behind the scheme, he mentioned how some private pre-primary schoolgoing children feel proud to wear a uniform. "With a similar objective, the state government decided to give uniforms to all Anganwadi children so that even our children should not be left behind, have a distinctive identity, and feel confident," he said.
Minister of State for Women and Child Development Vibhavariben Dave echoed the same. He said that the Anganwadi children would look smart in the uniforms and, in turn, will attract other children to Anganwadis, reported The Indian Express.
Postponement Of Distribution
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) joined the CM at the symbolic event and distributed uniforms to six children. However, according to the recent most state government instructions, the Anganwadis will remain closed till July 13. Hence, the local institutions have postponed the programme for now.
VMC Medical Officer for Health Dr Devesh Patel said that the ICDS department would request the parents of these six children to return the uniforms to Anganwadi workers temporarily till the centres re-open. This is because the purpose behind the move is to bring unity and discipline at the pre-school level. Using these uniforms while the Anganwadis are closed will defeat that purpose.
The Women and Child Development Commissioner issued a circular to the district administrations and several municipal corporations across the state on June 28. The circular extended the closure of the Anganwadis till July 13. But reportedly, the VMC officials received the order the next day. Thus, the previous plan of distributing 16,148 uniforms to more than 8,000 children across 399 Anganwadis in Vadodara had to be postponed.
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