INTRODUCTION to ICDS

ICDS is the Country's most comprehensive & multi-dimensional Programme. For million of young Indian children living in condition of poverty and different forms of deprivation, Integrated Child Development Services promises hope. The ICDS Scheme which was started on experimental basis in 33 blocks of the country during 1975-76 has now expanded into a Programme with possibly the greatest out reach in the country. It is the foremost symbol of India's commitment to her children –India's response to the challenge of providing pre-school education on one hand breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduce learning capacity and mortality, on the other. It is today the world's largest unique Integrated Programme for early childhood Development, Converging, Intervention for health, Nutrition well being, Physical, Psycho-Social and Cognitive development-linked to other sect oral Intervention for safe drinking water, Environmental Sanitation and Women Development. The scheme was launched in the year 1975 and among other states two ICDS projects in NES block Kangan (Kashmir) and Billawar (Jammu) was started in J&K State.

Objectives and Services
Objectives
The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched in 1975 with the following objectives:
  • to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
  • to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
  • to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
  • to achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
  • to enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
Services
The above objectives are sought to be achieved through a package of services comprising
  • supplementary nutrition,
  • immunization,
  • health check-up,
  • referral services,
  • pre-school non-formal education and nutrition & health education.

The concept of providing a package of services is based primarily on the consideration that the overall impact will be much larger if the different services develop in an integrated manner as the efficacy of a particular service depends upon the support it receives from related services.