On Tuesday, September 7, a horde of Anganwadi workers in Delhi held a protest near Delhi demanding adequate honorarium and release of arrears and facilities related to health, social security, provident fund and pension. The protesters urged the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi to ensure that MLAs do not harass, exploit or compel the workers to participate in election campaigns. In the Delhi assembly, 63 of the 70 MLAs belonging to AAP.
Crucial Roles Of Anganwadi Workers
These workers perform crucial roles such as assisting doctors in immunisation campaigns, encouraging people to go for vaccination, creating awareness related to reproduction, conduct online classes for pre-school children, providing ood supplements to pregnant and lactating women, providing drugs and medicines kit, maintaining records of immunisation programmes, among others. Despite this, their salary is meager.
Vrishali of Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union said that there are around 22,000 Anganwadi and health workers in Delhi who have not been paid their total honorarium for nearly 10months now. Overwork and no payment forced them to protest.
'PM Did Not Stick To His Promise'
She recalled that on September 11, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there would be an increase in the honorarium of Asha and Anganwadi workers, which is still not implemented.
Overall, the Anganwadi workers union has raised 22 demands before the Delhi government. Among others, it has demanded that the policy of opening "Saheli Coordination Center" and the New Education Policy, 2020, be withdrawn by the Delhi and Union government since these policies compel Anganwadi workers into forced labour. Keeping in mind the rising inflation, the union demanded that the government increase the honorarium immediately and ensure an honorarium of ₹18,000 and ₹ 12,000 for the worker and assistant, respectively.
They also demaned that all anganwadi workers and helpers be given the status of government employees. Facilities like ESI, PF and pension and extended social security cards should be provided to them. Government should ensure a regular honorarium along with the increment announced by the PM in 2018.