About 1.50 lakh anganwadi workers and facilitators across the state will go on strike from February 16 to 18, seeking proper honorarium, the demand for which has been pending since 2011. A provision for Rs 143 crore was made in the 2016-17 state budget, but no allocation has been done despite the budget announcement then, Arun Mehta, president of Gujarat Anganwadi Karmachari Sangathan, said on Tuesday.
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Mehta said that the strike was called just ahead of the state budget presentation and at least ten ruling party MLAs and as many Opposition MLAs had promised to present their case in the House.
He added that the Sangathan would also call on the ministers concerned for resolution of issues, like very low honorarium to anganwadi workers, who were also being forced to do other works of conducting surveys, etc.
Mehta said that the workers should be paid remuneration of at least Rs 4,000 per month. Gujarat is the 14th lowest paying state when it comes to anganwadi workers despite its much-touted development model, Mehta said. “The fight is against the exploitative ways of the state government,” he added. “Kerala pays Rs 10,000 per month to anganwadi workers even though it has income less than Gujarat,” he said. “Puducherry pay Rs 22,000, Haryana Rs 8,500. Tripura, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu pay Rs 8,000 per month to anganwadi workers,” he said. If nothing comes out in budget on this issue, our representatives will meet the ministers concerned in the Assembly, he said.