People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 30, 2006
Anganwadi Employees Demand Institutionalisation of ICDS
Anganwadi workers raising slogans in Hyderabad.
THOUSANDS of anganwadi employees marched in the capitals of different states in the country, demanding institutionalisation of ICDS and regularisation of anganwadi workers and helpers as Grade III and Grade IV employees and enhancement of honorarium to Rs 3,000 per month for workers and Rs 2,000 for helpers, pending regularisation. The demand for social security benefits including provident fund and pension were also highlighted in the rallies. The decision to hold these rallies was taken by the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers in its meeting held in Kolkata in January 2006.
In Andhra Pradesh, around ten thousand anganwadi employees marched in the scorching sun from Indira Park to Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Baghlingampally carrying placards and banners and shouting loud slogans demanding additional payment for additional work and other pending issues in addition to the all India demands. Addressing the gathering P Madhu, MP, Rajya Sabha assured that he would raise their issues in the Parliament. P Roja, general secretary of AP Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ Union, S Punyavati, vice president of the CITU state committee, Gaffoor, MLA, M Swarajyam, veteran leader of AIDWA and others spoke. B Lalitamma, president of the union presided over the meeting. Earlier, a delegation met the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum. The Chief Minister assured that the state government would enhance the amount it was paying.
A militant procession and demonstration was held in Matka Chowk in Chandigarh by the Anganwadi Mulajam Union, Punjab, in which more than seven thousand anganwadi workers and helpers from around twelve districts participated. Hargobind Kaur, president, Harjeet Kaur, general secretary and Usha, finance secretary of the union, Raghunath Singh, general secretary of the Punjab state committee of CITU and several other leaders of the union and fraternal organisations addressed the rally.
More than five thousand anganwadi employees from all over the state participated in the massive procession held in Bangalore. A delegation led by S. Varalakshmi met the Governor and the Deputy Chief Minister and held discussion on the demands. The Deputy Chief Minister assured to seriously consider the proposal of pension for anganwadi employees. The leaders of the union, CITU and other fraternal organisations addressed the rally.
In Assam, rallies were held at the district level in nine districts, despite heavy rains throughout the day, the Bihu festival and the difficulties arising out of the just concluded elections to the state Assembly. More than three thousand anganwadi employees participated in these rallies. In some places, representations were given to the district authorities.
An impressive procession was held in Patna, in which thousands of anganwadi employees from seven districts participated. Neelima Maitra, president of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers participated and addressed the rally. Asha Devi, convenor of the organising committee and Arun Mishra, general secretary of the Bihar state committee of the CITU also addressed the gathering.
Hundreds of anganwadi employees from different districts in Madhya Pradesh participated in the procession held in Bhopal on April 18. Badal Saroj, general secretary of MP state committee of CITU, Kishori Varma, general secretary and Vidya Khangar, president of the Madhya Pradesh Anganwadi Sevika Sahayika Ekta Union and Sandhya Shaily, state leader of AIDWA addressed the rally.
For the first time hundreds of anganwadi employees, under the banner of Anganwadi Karmachari Union, Uttar Pradesh, affiliated to CITU and AIFAWH, participated in a dharna in front of the Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow. Hemalata, general secretary of AIFAWH participated in the dharna. Anasuya Singh, member of AIFAWH working committee, Daulat Ram, general secretary of the UP state committee of CITU, Madhu Garg, secretary of the state committee of AIDWA and other CITU leaders addressed the gathering. Veena Gupta presided. Later a state level convention was held in the CITU office, in which representatives from eight districts participated. A state level organising committee was formed with Veena Gupta as the convenor and decided to enrol members in different districts and start the process of forming a full fledged organisation by holding project, district and state conferences.
Around two thousand anganwadi employees participated in a rally held in Srinagar. Md Yousuf Tarigami, president of the J&K state committee of CITU, and other union leaders addressed the rally. Rallies and were also held in the Dodi and Uddhampur districts of the Jammu region.
In Maharashtra, processions were organised on April 18 in Pune, Chandrapur and Jalna, in which hundreds of anganwadi employees participated.
In Chattisgarh, around seven hundred anganwadi employees from Rajnandgaon, Rajarrha, Raipur, and Korba participated in the rally held in Raipur.
Anganwadi employees from different projects in Sikar, Alwar etc held a dharna near the Secretariat in Jaipur in Rajasthan and submitted a memorandum to the Women and Child Welfare Minister.
Hundreds of anganwadi employees participated in the dharna held in Dehra Dun in Uttaranchal. They demanded immediate implementation of the state government order regarding the payment of Rs 1,500 for workers and Rs 750 for helpers.
The state committees of Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, which are in the thick of elections decided to defer the rallies and hold them at a later date. (INN)