Anganwadi is a type of rural mother and child care centre in India. They were started by the Indian government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition. Anganwadi means "courtyard shelter" in Indian languages.
A typical Anganwadi centre provides basic health care in Indian villages. It is a part of the Indian public health care system. Basic health care activities include contraceptive counseling and supply, nutrition education and supplementation, as well as pre-school activities. The centres may be used as depots for oral rehydration salts, basic medicines and contraceptives.
As many as 13.3 lakh (a lakh is 100,000) Anganwadi and mini-Anganwadi centres (AWCs/mini-AWCs) are operational out of 13.7 lakh sanctioned AWCs/mini-AWCs, as of 31 January 2013. These centres provide supplementary nutrition, non-formal pre-school education, nutrition and health education, immunization, health check-up and referral services of which later three services are provided in convergence with public health systems.