The Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) was developed in 2010 as a special intervention for adolescent girls between the ages of 11 and 14 years to halt the intergenerational life cycle of nutritional and gender disadvantage and provide a nurturing environment for adolescent girls in the nation to grow into independent adults.
The Programme was introduced in 2010 as part of Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) under the administration of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Kishori Shakti Yojana and the Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG) were replaced by the initiative (KSY). Under the aegis of the ICDS Programme, Anganwadi Centres are used to carrying out the Programme (AWCs). It is a state/UT government-led initiative that receives federal funding. More on PIB.
Need for the Scheme
The teenage years are a crucial time in a woman's life. She is now on the verge of becoming an adult. The most challenging stage for a person's mental, emotional, and psychological well-being is between childhood and womanhood. The life-cycle approach to holistic child development is addressed if teenage females are included in the human resource development programmes.
Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) | UPSC IAS IPS IFS
The Scheme's primary goal is to improve the social and economic standing of teenage girls in the 11 to 14-year-old age range while also ensuring they have access to nourishment. Educating and empowering teenage females’ aims to help them become independent and informed citizens of the nation.
Below are the goals defined under the scheme: -
- Provide teenage girls with the tools they need for self-improvement and empowerment.
- Enhance the nutritional and physical health of adolescent girls.
- Raise public understanding of diet, cleanliness, and health.
- Assist adolescent girls not in school with making a smooth transition back into formal education or bridging learning/skill development.
- Improve their life and domestic skills.
- Educate the population about the availability of public services, such as primary health care facilities, rural hospitals and CHCs, post offices, banks, and police stations.
Rapid Reporting System for SAGs (RRS): This role-based Management Information System (MIS) collects information on the AGs who are receiving benefits from this Programme.
Kishore Health Card: To keep track of the AGs' weight, height, and Body Mass Index (BMI), as well as other services offered under the Programme. The AWCs keep track of these health cards for AGs.
Adolescent girls receive nutritional and non-nutritional support through the Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG), which the government administers to guarantee their well-being (AGs). Formerly, the Programme covered out-of-school AGs between the ages of 11 and 14. Kishori Health Cards for AGs were kept at the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) as part of the Scheme to keep track of the weight, height, and Body Mass Index (BMI) information as the services offered to the AG part of the Scheme.
However, the old Scheme has been phased down as of March 31, 2022, and Saksham Anganwadi & Poshan 2.0 has replaced it with the redesigned SAG Scheme. The AGs in Aspirational Districts of States like Assam and NE are the intended beneficiaries under the amended Programme.
The Plan is divided into two main parts: the Nutrition Component and the Non-Nutrition Component. 11–14 years: Take Home Ration or Hot Prepared Meal. Girls who are not enrolled in school are provided nutrition support at the cost of Rs. 9.50 per day (600 calories, 18–20 grams of protein, and the recommended daily intake of micronutrients over the course of 300 days). The daily financial requirements for each recipient for 300 days a year would be Rs. 9.5, including the price of adding micronutrients.
Non-nutrition component- For Adolescent Females Not in School: (2–3 times per week) aged 11–14: Supplemental IFA; health screening and referral services; nutrition and health education (NHE); counselling and guidance on family welfare, ARSH, and child care policies; life skills training; and access to public resources.
Supplementing with iron and folic acid (IFA): In addition to IFA pills, the adolescent girls would get information about dietary diversification, food fortification, and the benefits of taking IFA tablets as a preventative measure for iron deficiency anaemia. Medical examinations and referral services: Every adolescent girl should have a general health examination at least every three months.
Nutrition & Health Education (NHE): Ongoing education about nutrition and health will improve beneficiaries' and their families' overall health, assisting in ending the vicious intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. This is presented at the AWC by the ICDS in collaboration with health professionals, resource people, and field trainers from NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs). The advice provided covers topics like controlling menarche, maintaining personal cleanliness, appropriate sanitation practices, safe drinking water habits, healthy eating and cooking habits, and more.
Integrating out-of-school females into formal education, bridging courses/skill development: Adolescent girls who are not attending school are recognised through this Programme and given advice on enrolling in or returning to a regular school. Information about the advantages of formal education is given to families. Under this, females are encouraged to copy strong female role models—education in life skills, household management, etc.
Recipients get coaching on life skills as well as home management (home upkeep, budgeting, saving, managing the family, gender sensitivity, child-rearing, etc.) to help them grow up to be contributing members of society.
Counselling/Guidance on Using Public Services: In conjunction with PRI Members, NGOs/CBOs, Health Functionaries, Police Personnel, Bank Officials, Post Office Officials, School Authorities, etc., Awareness Talks and Visits are arranged.
- The DPOs may contract NGOs to provide various non-nutrition services under SAG after consulting with the DM or his agent.
- Observe and make sure that sustenance is provided continuously.
- Make certain out-of-school females are mainstreamed into the educational system or get skill development
- Create a strategy to raise community awareness about SAG.
- The Scheme does not cover girls from the age of 15-18 who require nutrition.
- India underspends on nutrition. Budget for SAG declined comparatively for 2021-22 as well.
- Low budget for the scheme will lead to less access to adolescent girls all over the country.
The MWCD is in charge of overseeing the funding and running the Programme at the Center level. The MWCD must disburse the cash to the State Government/UT in two instalments. SAG is a federally funded programme that is carried out through a 50:50 centre-to-state split for the nutrition component and a 60:40 divided for the remaining activities. North Eastern and the three Himalayan States have a ratio of 90:10 for both components, whereas UTs without legislation have a ratio of 100%.
Adolescence is a critical time in a person's life, particularly for women. A girl goes through various mental and physical changes at this point, and crucial interventions can assist the person in developing healthy attitudes about health and well-being. SAG was planned to address the fact that A girl's growth and development might be hampered by unhealthy eating habits and unhygienic behaviours, which can prevent her from reaching her full potential.