Two months after they called off a state-wide strike, anganwadi workers and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA Workers) will hold a protest at the Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur, demanding that the government fulfil the promises it made in October. Shubha Shamim, state general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that the government had failed to act on its promises.
“The government had promised that it would increase anganwadi workers’ honorarium based on seniority from October and give a five per cent increase from April next year. But, it has not yet taken a Cabinet decision on it,” she said. She also said that anganwadi workers were hoping the government would make budgetary provisions for the same in the Winter Session. “They have not done that either. In 2014, when the anganwadi workers were protesting, the then Congress-led government took Cabinet decisions while the strike was on and issued government resolutions. This government does not seem to be serious about the anganwadi workers’ issues,” Shamim added.
Shamim said their demand for the ASHA workers would be to give them a fixed monthly honorarium. “Presently, they are not being given a fixed honorarium despite a lot of work. We want them to be given some fixed honorarium,” she said.
Anganwadi workers had gone on strike from September 11 to October 6, seeking a rise in honorarium and demanding a new scheme in place of the take-home rations for children. Currently, anganwadi workers get Rs 5,000 per month and anganwadi helpers get Rs 2,500.
However, officials from the Women and Child Development Department said there is a shortage of funds due to the farm loan waiver announced by the state. “We need to see that funds are available to give to anganwadi workers. We are working on it,” said an official.