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Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday inaugurated the dissemination workshop on Meghalaya’s experience of improving ECD (Early Childhood Development) and nutrition outcomes.

The workshop encompasses results from an integrated community-led pilot at Rongram in Tura at a daylong held at Asian Confluence at Laitumkhrah in Shillong.

Delivering the keynote address and sharing Meghalaya government’s vision for the provision of integrated services for young children’s development, chief minister, Conrad K Sangma said that ECD and nutrition of children, pregnant and lactating mothers is an area to which the government is focussed on and taking up on a priority.

“While there are challenges of containing the IMR and MMR rates there is a parallel challenge of dealing with the high fertility rate which results in a woman giving birth to five six children which brings innate challenges of its own,” said the chief minister.

The chief minister while highlighting the various aspects of the programme MOTHER said that economic empowerment and making the woman productive is very crucial.

“The various departments be it Health, Education, Social Welfare or Rural Development have been working in silos and there was no system in place for policy makers to have an insight or to have the various programmes of the departments monitored, through MOTHER the different departments will be integrated through technology for better and efficient tracking, monitoring and implementation of the programmes under various departments for children and women,” he informed.

He also said that the Self Help Groups will be strengthened and added that SHGs is the best institution for ECD and other programmes for child and mother development.

Earlier, commissioner & secretary, C&RD, P Sampat Kumar, spoke on what the State can do to develop the full potential of the children and said that the shift of ECD is now from survival to thriving.

He also said that the knowledge acquired from ECD pilot in Rongram can be used and layered across SHGs and layer ECD in Meghalaya State Rural Livelihoods Society (MSRLS) immediately.

He also proposed setting up of Knowledge Institutions to work across the departments.

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