New Delhi: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday conferred National Awards to 97 Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for Exceptional Achievements for the year 2017-18, here.

The award is given to motivate the AWWs and recognise their exemplary service in the field of child development and related areas under the ICDS Scheme. The awards are given annually. The Award at the National Level comprises of a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a citation. State-level award comprises of a cash prize of Rs 10,000 and a citation.

Addressing at the event, Gandhi said that the condition of Anganwadi workers and helpers has improved significantly in the past four and a half years.

Mentioning that large funds are lost on fake beneficiaries in Anganwadis which could otherwise be utilised for better services, she appealed to the AWWs that they should become the Ministry’s eyes and ears in bringing out the cases of fake enrolment of children, if any in Anganwadis around them.

Present at the function, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr Virendra Kumar congratulated the exemplary work of AWWs and for playing pivotal role in proper implementation of the dream project of  Prime Minister in  Poshan Abhiyan. He lauded their efforts and said they had been the crucial drivers of making India malnutrition free

From this year, the cash prize of National Level has been increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. He also said that a proposal to incentivise smart phone usage by Anganwadi workers at workplace has been approved. He said that with these 97 awardees for this year from all across India, the achievement awards for all the years have been conferred till date without any backlog.

As per guidelines, National Level awards to AWWs are given to the awardees nominated by States/UTs out of the State/UT Level awardees. The number of nominations of AWWs at National Level depends on the size of the State/UT and operational ICDS Projects. The number of awards has also been doubled.