National Initiative Unveiled: Union WCD Minister Smriti Irani Launches Anganwadi-cum-Crèche (Palna) Programme


In a significant stride towards enhancing childcare facilities and bolstering women’s participation in the workforce, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, spearheaded the National Programme on Anganwadi-Cum-Crèche under the Palna Scheme. The ceremonious event took place at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on December 21st, 2023, marking a pivotal moment in the evolution of the Anganwadi initiative.

National Programme on Anganwadi-cum-Crèche (Palna)
Union WCD Minister Smt. Smriti Irani urges States and UTs to identify areas with a higher number of women working in unorganised sector to connect them with the Centre’s Anganwadi-cum-creche scheme

The comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Anganwadi-Cum-Crèche under Palna was unveiled during the event, providing a structured framework for the efficient administration and implementation of the scheme. Underlining the importance of this initiative, the central aim remains to fulfill the demand for quality childcare facilities and empower women to actively engage in the workforce.

The inaugural session, presided over by Union Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and attended by various dignitaries, set the tone for the day. Shri Indevar Pandey, Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, highlighted the scheme’s focus on urban areas where familial childcare support may be lacking. He announced the deployment of two additional Crèche workers and helpers alongside existing Anganwadi personnel under the Palna scheme.

Addressing the gathering, Ms. Aarti Ahuja, Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, emphasized the increased participation of women in the workforce, underlining the collective responsibility to facilitate and encourage such contributions. Shri Inder Deep Singh Dhariwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, underscored the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in promoting positive societal change.

A short film capturing the essence of the scheme was screened, offering insights into its features and impact. The SOP release by Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani further solidified the commitment to operational excellence in Anganwadi-Cum-Crèches.

Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Minister of State for Ministry of Women and Child Development and AYUSH, shared details about the government’s ambitious plan to establish 17,000 Crèches, with 5,222 already approved. Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani reiterated the scheme’s potential to enhance women’s workforce participation, contributing significantly to Bharat’s economic development.

The second part of the program featured insightful panel discussions. The first, titled ‘Care Economy: Care to Empowerment,’ shed light on transformative care policies that can positively impact health, economics, and gender equality. The second discussion delved into ‘Interventions in implementing day care centres/ crèches,’ emphasizing the importance of formalizing employment opportunities and creating supportive infrastructure.

In her closing remarks, Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani stressed the need for quality childcare for women engaged in various sectors and appealed to state officials to identify more locations for crèche construction. She highlighted the role of childcare in providing economic opportunities for women and emphasized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to eradicate unregistered institutions exploiting children.

The National Programme on Anganwadi-Cum-Crèche (Palna) stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to fostering women’s economic empowerment and providing holistic childcare solutions for working women across the nation.

Related News