CM-CAREs: New initiative for welfare of general public
Meghalaya hosts State Convention of Frontliners; honorarium to Anganwadi workers enhanced
SHILLONG, Dec 5: The Meghalaya government has launched a new initiative called CM-CAREs (Comfort, Assist, Respect, Empowerment) scheme during the ‘State Convention of Frontliners’ held at the SICPAC Multipurpose Hall, Mawkiasiang, on Monday.
The programme aimed to appreciate the efforts of the Anganwadi workers (AWWs), Village Health Councils (VHCs) and Village Organisations (VOs- SHG Federations at village level) in providing basic education, nutrition and ensuring health, especially in rural areas.
It is important to note that every month, through this robust frontliner network, the growth of about 5,00,000 children between the age 0 to 5 years is being monitored, achieving 85 to 90% weighing efficiency of children in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) and villages across Meghalaya.
Through CM-CAREs, the government will provide social security through financial assistance to senior citizens, single mothers belonging to households with incomes less than Rs 36,000 a year and all persons with disabilities (PwDs). The financial benefit of erstwhile CM’s Social Assistance Scheme has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 750 per month with effect from October 2022 under this scheme.
Currently, 65,777 senior citizens, 36,222 single mothers and 14,227 PwDs are the present beneficiaries of CM-CAREs.
On the other hand, two state awards were conferred upon two districts and 12 awards — one from each district — was presented at the event.
South West Garo Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts were awarded the ‘Best Districts for Commendable Efforts in reducing SAM & MAM among children’ in their respective districts.
The AWWs as well as representatives from the VOs and VHCs also received awards for their commendable work in reducing severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) among children through collaborative efforts in the field.
In addition to the 14 awardees, 111 AWCs, VOs and VHCs were also recognised post the inaugural session.
Recognising the role of Anganwadi Workers and Village Organisations as the agents of social change in the state’s effort towards a malnutrition-free Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma announced the enhancement of honorarium to AWW workers by Rs 1500, Mini AWW by Rs 750 and Helper by Rs 500 with effect from October 1.
In his address, the CM said that all Anganwadi centres will be transformed into Early Childhood Development Centres with better structures, infrastructures and methodology involving parents by giving them training and necessary support.
He added, “The government is working with concerted efforts to improve the overall human development goals in the state. He recounted launching the MOTHER Programme for achieving measurable outcomes in transforming health education, rural development and social welfare sectors through a holistic approach with focus on women’s empowerment”.
The chief minister stated that merely implementing the programme is not enough. What is important is to change the mindset and realize that schemes are a means to achieve greater goals.
Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla, on the other hand, spoke about state’s commitment and stressed on a convergence approach to bring various departments together and work towards a common goal.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare department, Sampath Kumar, informed the gathering that for the first time in 2020, Meghalaya ranked second in the country in full child immunisation coverage due to the collaborative efforts of the field level functionaries and the various departments.
This could be achieved because the default explanations for not being able to take immunisation to the last mile were challenged. For instance, the frontline workers came up with a unique solution of taking immunisation closer to the people by conducting immunisation sessions at a time when they would be free.
It may be mentioned that due to the systemic interventions aimed at improving state capability to improve health indicators, between 2020 to 2021, for the first time, Meghalaya recorded 93% recovery of SAM and 97% recovery of MAM children.