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Anganwadi is a government sponsored child-care and mother-care center in India. It caters to children in the 0-6 age group. The word means "courtyard shelter" in Hindi. They were started by the Indian government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
There are an estimated 650,000 anganwadi centers employing 1.8 million mostly-female workers and helpers across the country. They provide outreach services to poor families in need of immunization, healthy food, clean water, clean toilets and a learning environment for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. They also provide similar services for expectant and nursing mothers. According to government figures, anganwadis reach about 33 million children and 6 million pregnant or lactating women.