2nd May, 2015. Since 2011, CARE India’s Girls’ Education Program (GEP) has been implementing the Early Childhood Development (ECD) project in the districts ofKorba and Janjgirin Chhattisgarh. With a goal to ensuring that young children develop holistically by having school preparedness, and to ensure improvement in malnutrition using essential package services within Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program of the Government of India;CARE India developed various technical products for effective implementation of the project.

ICDS is an Indian government welfare programme which provides food, preschool education, and primary healthcare to children under 6 years of age, and their mothers. These services are provided from Anganwadicentres established mainly in rural areas, and staffed with frontline workers.

Through diversetraining programs and practices CARE India, at various levels, built the knowledge and skills of Anganwadi Workers (ICDS functionaries), supervisors, caregivers and the communities at the project locations.In order to improve functioning of ICDS, the ECD project worked to ensure inter-linkages of health, nutrition, and education services at AnganwadiCentres (AWC) level. Community based products were also developed by CARE to preserve community knowledge, as well as to ensure its usage in the community so that they appreciate their own culture.

Three resources from the ECD project, namely,SahityaSankalan, BalMela and Children’s Workbooks, have been adopted by the State Department of Women and Child for the entire state of Chhatisgarh. This is expected to have an impact on 22 lakh children in the age group of 3-6 years, attending over 50000 AWCs.

As a first time initiative in Chhatisgarh, a bilingual book of folk tales in Chhatisgarhi and Hindi called SahityaSankalan was created for children by CARE. The book comprises of folk resource material containing contextualized puzzles, and lullabies collected from the communities.

A critical tool for learning, and awareness building in parents, the concept of Bal Mela (Children’s Fair) was redesigned by CARE to provide a platform to young children to enjoy various activities especially designed for them, and to build parent’s knowledge on preschool education.

CARE developed Children’s Workbooks to ensure effective implementation of Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum at ICDS level. These are child centric workbooks developed to build their skills, and are used by teachers to transact the curriculum.

Comprising of logos of CARE, and the State Department of Women and Child, along with messages from the Minister, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child (MWCD) and Country Director, CARE India the SahityaSankalan will be printed, and distributed by the State Department of Women and Child to all the AWCs in Chhatisgarh.

The Chhatisgarh State Department of Women and Child has also adopted the overall concept, including strategy, intervention and various components of Bal Mela as a recurring monthly event on the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) day in all the 1750 sectors of the state. The Department has requested CARE to build perspective on the concept of BalMela of all its ICDS functionaries.

The contextual Children’s Workbooks are being adopted as it is by the State Department and are to be circulated and used across all the AWCs in Chhatisgarh.

The Girls’ Education Program is overjoyed over the success of the ECD project in Chattisgarh, and are already enthusiastically working out the next steps to spread the program in the entire state, and to take it to other states as well. CARE is also collaborating with National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NICCD) on significant technical pieces to be rolled out nationally.

NICCD is an Indian government agency under the Ministry of Women and Child Development tasked with promotion of voluntary action research, training, and documentation in the overall domain of women empowerment and child development in India.


Dr. Suman Sachdeva.
Technical Director (Education)
CARE India

Posted By : Suman Sachdeva