Unmet Need of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) among Economically Weaker Sections in Indian Society

Lopamudra Paul, Ramesh Chellan, Harihar Sahoo


This paper analyses the utilisation of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) in India and examines the unmet need for the services to the children and their mothers. To understand the pure effect of socio-economic and demographic factors on unmet need of ICDS programme, binary logistic regression was carried out separately for children and their mothers (pregnant and lactating women) on whether they received any services from Anganwadi Centres (AWC) or not using the data from National Family Health Survey 3. More than two-thirds of children did not receive any services from AWC. The unmet need was found to be higher among Muslims. Mothers with higher education, who belonged to upper castes, lived in urban area, and from non-poor households were less likely to utilise the ICDS compared with their less privileged counterparts. To reduce this unmet need, one should focus on why people with higher education and belonging to upper strata of society did not utilize the ICDS services? The purpose of the programme is to reach every section of the society. There must be some gap in the programme implementation which might make it not acceptable to all and create a cavity of unmet need.

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