(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 15, 2009
AIFAWH Leaders Submit Memo on ICDS Issues
A delegation of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) comprising Neelima Maitra, president, Hemalata, general secretary, Saroj Sharma, treasurer and AR Sindhu, secretary met the union minister for Women and Child Development, Krishna Tirath on 5 November 2009 and submitted the charter of demands adopted by the Sixth conference of AIFAWH.
The main demands included :
· Allocation of at least Rs 15,000 crores for ICDS in the 2010- 2011 budget for its universalisation and improvement in the infrastructure
· Converting all ‘mini anganwadi centres’ into regular anganwadi centres by appointing helpers and payment of same wages to the anganwadi workers in these centres
· No privatisation of ICDS including the supply, preparation and distribution of food
· Regularisation of anganwadi workers and helpers as Grade III and Grade IV employees with all the attendant benefits
· Minimum wages, DA linked to Consumer Price Index, and social security benefits to all anganwadi employees including pension, PF and gratuity etc
The delegation also demanded that four sarees/ suites should be provided to all the anganwadi workers and helpers (two per each year for 2008 and 2009) before the end of this fiscal year, as announced by the government in 2008.
A detailed note with our suggestions for improving the effectiveness of ICDS was also submitted to the minister.
The minister gave a patient hearing and agreed that all the demands raised by the AIFAWH were genuine and assured that she would do whatever she could to fulfil these demands. She informed that the government was taking steps on the issue of providing sarees to the anganwadi employees.