The Government is committed to repositioning the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) as a "vibrant ECD centre" to become the first village outpost for health, nutrition and early learning. Towards this end, several steps have been taken for improvement and strengthening of ICDS scheme covering programmatic, management and institutional areas.
Whereas intensive efforts are being made for improving the service delivery at the Anganwadi centres, an estimated 2 lakh AWCs have no building to locate their activities. There is therefore an urgent need to take up construction of buildings for these AWCs. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has issued guidelines stating that AWCs should be child friendly with all relevant infrastructures and the space should be at least 600 sq. ft. Although there is a scheme for construction of AWCs at a unit cost of @ Rs. 4.5 lakh per unit under ICDS, it was felt that this can best be done through convergence of schemes like MGNREGA.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
The MGNREGA 2005 aims to provide unskilled manual work to any rural household on demand and employing them on construction of productive assets. The list of works that can be taken up has been enclosed in Schedule - I of the Act under which, construction of Anganwadi centres has been notified as an approved activity vide notification No. S.O. 27 54(E), dated 21st November, 2012. ln order to ensure that the focus of these works would remain on creation of wage employment, there is a statutory limit on the cost of material component including the wages of the skilled and semiskilled workers at forty percent of the total project cost at the level of each Gram panchayat for all GP executed works and at the District level for works taken up by other agencies. In view of this provision, it would be possible to take up construction of AWCs under MGNREGA.
The focus of interventions in MGNREGA has been in the 2,534 most backward Blocks in the country. Though these Blocks are located primarily in the central tribal belt, they are found in every state, identified through objective criteria. MGNREGA has been undertaking systematic planning exercise in these areas to ensure that the assets identified match the requirements of the local people. The process of Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise (IPPE) is undertaken every year between September and December with the participation of more than 2 lakh stakeholder youth in about 1 lakh Gram Panchayats in these Blocks.
These joint guidelines aim at building a systematic convergence between ICDS and MGNREGS so that every AWC in these 2,534 most backward Blocks is provided with own buildings. Each year, there shall be at least 50,000 AWCs constructed under this convergence for the next 4 years, resulting in construction of 2 lakh AWCs by 2019. MWCD, to begin with, would identify the location for 50000 AWCs in 2534 IPPE Blocks/ high burden districts of 8 World Bank assisted ISSNIP states besides Assam, Odisha and Telangana.
The following are the objectives of this convergence:
- To ensure that every AWC in these 2,534 Blocks are provided a pucca building under MGNREGA.
- To serve the objectives of pre-school, nutrition centre, semi-formal public health unit, community centre located in the heart of settlements.
- To support generation of human and social capital at the micro level.
- To create durable assets in rural areas and improve the infrastructure at village level.
- To provide creche facility to MGNREGA workers.
Activities that can be undertaken in accordance with these guidelines
Construction of Anganwadi centres (AWCs) as per instructions/ guidelines of ICDS, administrated by Ministry of Women & child Development (MowCD). Assistance from MGNREGA for AWCs will however, be limited to provisions mentioned below.
Designs / Specifications
The MWCD has issued guidelines stating that AWCs should be child friendly with all relevant infrastructures, separate sitting room for children, women, separate kitchen, store for storing food items and child friendly toilets and space for playing of children (indoor and outdoor activities) and the space should be at least 600 sq. ft. However, the designs/ specifications would adhere to instruction/guidelines issued by Ministry of Women & Child Development, GOI, time to time.
Local design variation depending on the geo climatic conditions and construction material will also follow instructions/ guidelines of Ministry of Women & Child Development, GOI.
If any Gram Panchayat chooses to make an AWC of a bigger dimension, same will also be allowed. However, payment from MGNREGA will be restricted to provisions given in these guidelines.
The Building so constructed will be the property of the Gram Panchayat, which will be responsible for its proper maintenance.
Non-negotiables in work execution
- There shall be no contractors in execution. The work shall be undertaken by the implementing agency, working with the job card holders.
- Only Job Card holders will be employed for the unskilled part of work.
- Muster Rolls will be maintained on the worksite, with copies in the Gram panchayat. All data will also be in public domain and will be entered on nrega.nic.in
- Wage payments will be done through banks/ post office accounts only unless exempted by MoRD.
- Only eco-friendly building technologies that reduce the use of steel and cement, while constructing pucca buildings shall be used.
Conformity to MNREGS processes in planning and execution
- Functionaries of ICDS will participate in the IPPE exercise being undertaken to identify works with the community participation.
- Village wise and year wise list of AWCs proposed for construction under ICDS phased programme will be put up in the Gram Sabha for approval and inclusion in shelf of projects.
- All AWCs proposed for construction under MGNREGS shall be part of the District plan, approved by the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat and shall also be a part of the annual shelf of projects.
- MoWCD would facilitate that wherever Panchayats have their own land, they would make it available for the purpose of construction of AWCs preferably near primary schools in the respective villages.
- An electronic estimate module shall be made available under NREGASoft, formulated with standard estimate, design and specifications.
- After approval of the Gram Sabha and the Gram panchayat, the concerned Technical Assistant/ Junior Engineer of the Panchayat/ Line department will prepare e-estimate for the AWC works using the estimate module following the prevailing SOR for MGNREGA works in the area.
- The Technical Sanction will be issued by the concerned authority electronically as per norms/ power delegated for MGNREGA works.
- After the TS issued, AS/FS will be issued by the concerned as per norms/ power delegated for MGNREGA works.
- The Project Implementing Agency (PIA) for the construction of the AWC would be decided by the State Govemment.
- On receipt of a request from the GP, the PO will issue muster rolls.
- Every AWC will be treated as an independent work with work I.D. No. and muster roll issued accordingly.
- A mate may be deployed for every AWC proposed to be taken up in a Gram Panchayat at one time. The designated mate will be responsible for the following:
- Maintain muster for all the AWCs in the GP/Village/locality assigned to him.
- Record attendance for skilled and unskilled labour.
- Ensure that the construction is as per the design/drawing specified in the TS and will certify to that effect.
- The mate will sign the muster roll for attendance and hand it over to the Junior Engineer/Technical Assistant for further processing.
- The PIA would be responsible for supply of the material in advance and as per requirement at the site, so that work can be taken up continuously, without a break.
- The building material required for the building can be produced on the site as a part of the estimate. It shall be ensured that building material shall be ecofriendly minimizing the use of cement and steel.
- The TA/JE shall record the MB for all such units. The measurement of the work will be made weekly by the concerned TA/ JE as per the norms under MGNREGA. The entries of measurement with assessment of work will be entered in measurement book as well in the muster roll.
- The completion period of each AWC building shall not be more than 11 months from the date of commencement of the work.
Mode of expenditure
- The construction of AWC building will be taken up under MGNREGS using appropriate building technologies, through muster rolls as per MGNREGA process
- Under MGNREGA expenditure up to Rs. 5 lakhs will be allowed for construction of an AWC building. Beyond this, the expenditure will be borne from the ICDS scheme of the MWCD, including finishing of the building consisting of flooring, painting, plumbing, electrification and wood work etc., as a separate work. For this purpose, concerned authorities at District/ Block level shall release the funds, to the PIA concerned. Apart from this, funds from State Finance Commission, Scheduled Castes Sub plan (SCSP), Tribal Sub Plan (TSP), l4th Finance Commission (for water supply & sanitation) or any other suitable scheme may be used for the construction of a AWC building. W.e.f January 2023, the MGNREGA expenditure for construction of AWC building has been enhanced to Rs 8 lakhs.
- The Ministry of Panchayat Raj would facilitate to provide drinking water facilities and sanitation structures at the AWC wherever the gaps regarding these facilities exist.
Use of eco-friendly designs and materials
The buildings taken up under this project shall be model buildings using eco-friendly materials that conform to the following
- The appropriate technologies for the AWC buildings shall, be in accordance with the local building traditions, while keeping in view the durability
- The use of cement, sand and steel in construction shall be substantially reduced through:
- Use of local material, local practices for stub foundations or arch foundations or under reamed piles, with suitable design and specifications to address the needs of the relevant seismic zone.
- Avoiding the use of concrete columns and beams wherever the span of construction is less than 6 meters in a single-storied structure (or 4 meters in case of more than 2 floors) by using alternate technologies, wherever the soils permit.
- Use of rat-trap bond in all walling work using bricks or blocks 250 mm X 120 mm X 85 mm or equivalent sizes as locally adopted.
- Avoiding cement plastering to the extent possible on both sides of the wall.
- Use of filler slabs using tiles or local material to.reduce the concrete.
- Avoiding RCC sunshades (chajjas) and replacing with stone / ferro cement or suitable materials Iocally available.
- Replace windows with honeycomb structures wherever local climate permits.
- Use of local material like stone etc. for door and window frame and the minimise the use of wood
- Use of local material for flooring like local stone and bricks etc.
- Use of appropriate mud-based technology
- Suitable building materials shall be selected for each building (indicative list below) and produced at the site of construction (using MGNREGA workers) such that the labour component in the building shall be maximised
- Mud blocks
- Stone and renewable wood (e.g. casuarina)
- Compressed and stabilized earth blocks (after due treatment and curing)
- Bamboo material
- Fal-G bricks using the flv ash
- Filler blocks
- Micro concrete roofing
- Funicular roofing, etc.
Monitoring and Report
Progress of construction of AWCs under MGNREGS shall be the responsibility of the District Programme coordinator (DPC) and the agency implementing ICDS Scheme as mentioned in the respective guidelines. The construction of all AWCs under MGNREGS will be subject to social audit as per MGNREGA and ICDS regulation/guidelines.
Source : MGNREGA portal