Karnataka’s ‘Koosina Mane’ creches

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The Karnataka government announced plans to set up “Koosina mane” across 4,000-gram Panchayats for children of working mothers.
  • Last month, in its 2023-24 Budget, the Karnataka government announced plans to set up crèches for children of women working in MGNREGA.
  • The Union government’s data show that women comprise a little over 50% of the person-days under MGNREGA in Karnataka, lower than in neighbouring States like Tamil Nadu and Kerala (80% each).
About the initiative:
  • Koosina mane” translates to ‘child homes’ or ‘creches’ and is aimed at providing healthcare, nutrition, and safety for children whose mothers are employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • Need of such an initiative:
    • The working hours of the centres are not designed to support working women.
    • Without maternity protection in the early stages of childbirth, women require care infrastructure before six months, but also until the child is much older, something that is possible in ’koosina mane’.
    • Reducing women burden: In a country where childcare responsibilities are deeply gendered, a reliable childcare infrastructure that provides beyond basic provisions can aid, increase, and sustain this labour force participation.
  • Significance of the initiative:
    • Its primary focus is improving maternal and child health.
    • The fact that this initiative aligns with the goals of both the MGNREGA and the Women and Children Development Department is an excellent example of convergence.
    • These crèches can also be built as community assets under the
    • This scheme will get support from gram Panchayats in the State and recognising it as “essential public infrastructure” is a significant step toward redistributing the gendered burden of childcare.
Issues addressed via this initiative (related to Women in Indian society):
  • Triple Burden: In Indian households, working women encounter what is rightly termed the “triple burden” of work — paid work, childcare and domestic chores.
  • The “motherhood penalty”: Being a mother is considered to be one of the reasons why women drop out of the labour force.
Similar initiatives:
  • Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK): The scheme is for pregnant women to access Government health facilities for their delivery.
  • Anganwadi Services: Under Anganwadi Services, a package of six services is provided to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers and to Children under the age of 6 years.
    • The facilities includes;
      1. Supplementary Nutrition (SNP);
      2. Pre-school Non-formal Education;
      3. Nutrition & Health Education;
      4. Immunization;
      5. Health Check-up, and
      6. Referral Services.
  • Child Protection Services Scheme: The Ministry is implementing Child Protection Services Scheme under the Mission Vatsalya scheme (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme) since 2009-10 for supporting the children in difficult circumstances.
    • Under the scheme institutional care is provided through Child Care Institutes (CCIs), as a rehabilitative measure.
    • The programmes and activities in Homes inter-alia include age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care, counselling etc.
    • Under the non-institutional care component, support is extended for adoption, foster care and sponsorship.
    • Further CPS also provides for “After care” services after the age of 18 years to help sustain them during the transition from institutional to independent life.

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