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Odisha govt, UNICEF join hands to keep children busy during lockdown

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The Odisha government along with UNICEF on Tuesday released a calendar-based fun-filled list of activities for children to keep over 16 lakh children engaged in a meaningful way during the lockdown.

As many as 72,587 Anganwadi centers having student strength of 16.13 lakh, between the age group of 3 and 6 years, have remained closed since the lockdown imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said.

There is a need for engaging and stimulating these children, the official said, adding that the Women and Child Development (WCD) and Mission Shakti (MS) department along with UNICEF, therefore, has released ‘Ghare Ghare Arunima’, a calendar-based fun-filled list of activities for children to be implemented with the support of parents and grandparents.

This will help sustain early learning and ensure school readiness of children at home, the official said.

The WCD & MS Secretary Anbu Garg while dedicating the programme through a video-conference, said that it is important for families to keep young children engaged in meaningful activities at home.

She hoped that the activities will keep them stimulated and improve their psychosocial well being.

It will also strengthen the bond between the members of a family, she said.

The programme stresses on reaching out to parents for keeping their children engaged in activities such as action songs, dance, painting and storytelling based on the prescribed theme of the month.

It also focuses on the practice of good habits such as washing hands, hygiene and sanitation, and social distancing to prevent infection.

Further, the children will also be taught household chores such as folding clothes and watering plants, she said.

She said the calendar of activities will be shared digitally with parents by the Anganwadi Workers (AWWs).

For families without net connectivity, printed copies of the calendar will be circulated as far as possible, she said.

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