Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The city, which is popularly known for its cleanliness and speedy infrastructural growth, lacks the facilities of a crèche. While the National Crèche Scheme is trying to set up possible helping outlets for working women with kids, Indore is way behind in the development and maintenance of crèches. For the record, before the pandemic hit, the city had around 40 crèche services, but now, only one remains. The only crèche facility governed by the women and child development department belongs to the Battalion Group in Mhow, which was established as a social welfare service.
The department aims at reintroducing the facilities of a crèche but puts a condition on bringing them back. Ramniwas Budheliya, additional director, Integrated Child Protection Scheme, said, “There’s no particular plan to revive the crèche system. But, if an NGO or private service comes forward with an initiative to regulate and maintain a crèche, we may consider the possibility.”
Although crèche facilities remain one of the important sources of relief for working women, the women and child development department seems to ignore the need. Priya Vyas, school teacher, said, “I enrolled my daughter in one of the local nursery schools when she was only 1.5 years old. It’s difficult for a working woman to take care of her child.”
During the pandemic, when the world shifted to the online mode, everything was under control for working parents. But, with the return to the offline mode, there is once again a need for more crèche facilities.
Creches turned into anganwadi
The crèches that were supposed to be working were shut and introduced as anganwadis. Anganwadis are education hubs, which enrol children after a certain age. But people with children between the age of 1 and 3 are left high and dry
Are crèche facilities reliable?
A crèche facility, according to the National Crèche Scheme, requires a certain number of trained workers, sufficient capacity and infrastructure, besides payment of charges. Prachi Mishra, a bank employee, said it was difficult to rely on facilities provided by a crèche. The locations of the crèche are also important. She added, ‘When my kid was two years old, I could hardly trust the facilities and my sister is now going through the same problem. As much as we want crèche facilities to be made available, the governing authorities should ensure their reliability.’