After the finance department of the state government had raised objections against giving two increments to anganwadi workers, the Maharashtra State Anganwadi Workers’ Action Committee has planned to stage a protest at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on February 27, demanding that the government fulfil its promises. According to the Committee, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had, during a meeting held in October 2017, promised to give two increments to anganwadi workers, along with doubling the Diwali or Bhau Deej ex gratias.
“It has been more than four months since CM Fadnavis promised two increments, but it has not yet been implemented,” said M A Patil of the Committee. Patil added that the government should make required budgetary provisions in the state’s budget estimates for 2018-19. “We have also written to all legislators, requesting them to take up the issue in the upcoming Assembly session,” he added. Meanwhile, Dhananjay Munde, leader of the opposition in the Legislative Council, said he would take up the issue in the Legislative Assembly.
However, the finance department has raised objections, stating that only one increment should be given from April 2018. It had said that the Women and Child Development Department may have misunderstood the meaning of promises made to anganwadi workers about increasing the honorarium.
Besides, the finance department has also refused to raise the ‘Bhau Beej’ bonus amount for the workers from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 from 2017-18. The state cabinet had approved the proposal in December.
“The state government must increase the rates of nutritious food items for children to improve its quality. The current rates are very low and it’s difficult to serve nutritious food to children. Some to the anganwadi workers are putting their money into it,” said Shubha Shamim of the Committee.