THE Gujarat government accepted the long pending demand for a salary hike of anganwadi workers and helpers who have been sitting on a dharna across the state since September 12, education minister Jitu Vaghani said on Friday.
Vaghani said that the existing salary of 51,229 anganwadi workers who were paid Rs 7,800 will now be paid Rs 10,000, a hike of Rs 2200. This was decided following a meeting of various associations of anganwadi workers. He added that mini anganwadi centres will also be upgraded into anganwadi centres.
Similarly, the monthly salary for 51,229 anganwadi helpers who are getting Rs 3,950 as monthly salary has been hiked to Rs 5,500.
A total of 53,029 anganwadi centres are in Gujarat out of which 1800 are mini anganwadi centres. The Minister announced, “These 1800 mini anganwadi centres in interior and tribal areas would be upgraded to regular anganwadi centres at an annual cost of Rs 18.82 crore.”
“The hike in salaries is a major decision by the state government in the last 15 years the hike has not been of this amount. There has been a hike of Rs 200, 300 or 700. We had demanded that if the government accepts our demand for a hike in salary it has to be substantial or of no use,” said Arun Mehta, president of Gujarat Anganwadi Karmachari Sangathan, one of the participants of the meeting.
Mehta said that the government has also agreed to accept other demands of promotion of workers to supervisors, replacement of mobile phones along with transfer issues.
Anganwadi workers have been complaining that the mobile phones provided to them in 2019 are not functional any more. The government is yet to take a decision on whether to replace these with the new handsets or give them cash with which they can purchase on their own.