Tirunelveli Collector skips private playschools, admits her daughter in anganwadi

Shilpa Prabhakar Satish, who became the district’s first woman collector when she took charge in May 2018, says her daughter enjoys going to the anganwadi daily.
Tirunelveli Collector skips private playschools, admits her daughter in anganwadi
Tirunelveli Collector skips private playschools, admits her daughter in anganwadi

At a time when parents across the state are in deep discussions over which play school to admit their wards in the coming summer, Tirunelveli’s first woman collector, Shilpa Prabhakar Satish, has chosen a government run anganwadi for her daughter. And the 2009 batch IAS officer, who took charge of the district in May last year, says she couldn’t be happier about her decision.

About a month back, Collector Shilpa became aware that her young daughter had nobody to interact with at her camp office and no children of her age at the venue. Since schools in the area only admitted children above the age of three, that was out of the question. It was obvious to the Collector what she could do.

“We have really good anganwadis in the district with good infrastructure. The one near my bungalow has everything that a child of my daughter’s age requires. These centres not just educate our children but also ensure holistic development,” says the Collector speaking to TNM. “They monitor the child’s nutritional intake, maintain health records and even counsel parents on dietary needs. What else does a child need?” she asks.

The district authority further says that her daughter is extremely happy to go to the anganwadi every day.

“She loves the place and enjoys meeting other children. She has picked up Tamil as well in her time there now. She is able to understand and talk a little,” she says. “All parents, irrespective of class, should consider sending their children to anganwadis,” she adds.

In Tirunelveli alone, over 50,000 children currently attend anganwadis, with a majority of rural centres attending to at least 25 wards a day.

In addition to encouraging more parents to use the government system, the Collector has also taken up a personal project in the district to improve the knowledge of English among government school children. As the former deputy commissioner of the education department in the Chennai Corporation, her knowledge of non-governmental organisations that work for children’s education came of use in the district.

“We are collaborating with an NGO called Yoke for conducting English classes in the district for children who are eight to 10 years old. We are hoping to bring a love for the language in them, in order to help them catch up with private schools,” she says. “So many NGOs used to come up to me in Chennai but not too many are aware of the need for this volunteering in rural areas. We have currently been doing the project in Kodudhanallur for seven months and if it works well, I want to implement it across the district.”

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute