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India Government expands scheme to benefit adolescent girls

Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath Monday said that the government’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) would be expanded to benefit adolescent girls and also grant benefits to pregnant and nursing mothers.

“Around 7,073 ICDS projects have been sanctioned under which 1.4 million anganwadi (primary care) centres would be functioning in the long run. The ICDS would be expanded to include two new schemes for improving nutrition of adoloscent girls and women for which the minitry has allocated Rs.9,000 crore (Rs.90 billion),” Tirath said.

The schemes — Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana or conditional maternity benefit scheme — would be launched soon, Tirath said while speaking at the 10th Editors Conference on social sector issues.

While the first scheme aims to address under nutrition and nutrition deficiency in children, the latter will be piloted in 95 districts providing conditional cash transfer to pregnant woman and lactating mothers to endure “enhances maternal care and nutrition”.

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