Demands not met,anganwadi workers’ unions plan state-wide strike in July

With the state government failing to keep its promise of increasing honorarium and providing pension to anganwadi workers and helpers,various anganwadi workers’ unions are contemplating a state-wide strike in July.

Written by Express News Service | Published: June 11, 2013 2:17 am

With the state government failing to keep its promise of increasing honorarium and providing pension to anganwadi workers and helpers,various anganwadi workers’ unions are contemplating a state-wide strike in July.

“We were told that a Government Resolution (GR) announcing increased honorarium (monthly pay) and pension for the anaganwadi workers and helpers will be issued in May. The month has gone by and nothing has happened. Since the government did not keep its word,we have decided to go on strike from mid-July,” said Nitin Pawar,Vice President,Anganwadi Karmachari Sabha (AKS).

Pawar said the anganwadi workers and helpers work for 5-6 hours a day and all they get is peanuts.

“Currently,the workers are paid Rs 4,050 and helpers Rs 2,000. We want their salaries to be increased to Rs 10,000 and Rs 7,500 respectively. We have also been demanding pension for them,” said Pawar.

The state government had launched the pension scheme in 2005 and 2008.

“In 2005,the GR announced a contributory pension. At that time,workers were paid mere Rs 900,of which Rs 100 was deducted towards pension. We opposed the move as we wanted the government to give the pension separately. In 2008,they again came up with a GR,which was not acceptable to us,” said Shubha Shamin,General Secretary,Anganwadi Karmachari Sangathna.

Shamin said after a 10-day strike in 2010,the government decided to give a lump-sum amount as pension. “Although we opposed the move initially,we later agreed to it. But until now no GR has been issued. By next week we will have our action committee’s meeting where we will decide the future course of action,” said Shamin.

Despite repeated calls and texts,Women and Child Development officials did not respond.

Few takers for Take Home Ration

Take Home Ration (THR) scheme,announced by the state government for children in the age group of six months to three years,pregnant women and lactating women,to curb malnutrition is getting a poor response. Shamin said the reason for the poor response is inedible and substandard food. As per the government reports with Newsline,various deficiencies were found in THR when surprise tests were conducted on them. ‘Despite the inadequacies indicated above and provision of penalty clause in the procurement agreements,the department did not levy any penalty on the suppliers,says the report.”The government is playing into the vested interests of companies supplying THR. In 2011,the Bombay High court had directed the government to provide mid-day meals instead of distributing THR and still the government has not acted ,” added Shamin.

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