People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 47

November 20, 2011



Anganwadi Workers Score Splendid Victory



More than 1000 anganwadi workers and helpers from all the districts representing most of the ICDS projects in the state reached Muktsar on October 30, 2011 to participate in the ‘Vijay Rally’ organised by the Anganwadi Mulajam Union, Punjab in the home district of the chief minister Prakash Singh Badal. It may be recalled that the Punjab state government handed over the Government Order doubling the state government share of the remuneration of anganwadi workers and helpers to the union leadership, after which the 57 days’ long militant struggle led by the union was withdrawn.


This was the first time that such a big rally of women workers was being held by the CITU or any other trade union organisation in Muktsar. Most of the anganwadi employees reached Muktsar the night before to be able to participate in the meeting, and stayed in the gurudwaras in the town and marched in groups to the venue of the meeting with their banners and the CITU flags.


The open meeting was chaired by Usha Rani, president of the union. Addressing the meeting, Hemalata, general secretary of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, congratulated the anganwadi employees for their determined and persistent struggles despite the severe repression let loose by the Punjab government. She said that despite the increase both by the state government and the central government, the remuneration for the anganwadi employees was below the minimum wages. Besides, it was necessary to be vigilant and ensure that ICDS was effectively implemented as the government policies in the name of restructuring would actually weaken it.  She emphasised the need for the anganwadi employees to participate in the joint struggles of the trade unions against the anti worker and anti people policies of the government. She called upon them to participate in large numbers in the ‘Jail Bharo’ programme on November 8.


Vijay Mishra, Raghunath Singh and Chandra Shekhar, president, general secretary and vice president of Punjab state committee of the CITU respectively, Harjit Kaur and Subhas Rani, general secretary and treasurer of the union and others also addressed the gathering.


Manpreet Singh, chairman of the newly formed United Front in Punjab congratulated the union and the anganwadi employees for their militant struggles on their demands. He assured his support to their demands and promised that the United Front, which he said was certain to come to power in the next elections in the state, would enhance the remuneration of the anganwadi employees and punish the police officers who attacked the anganwadi employees and misbehaved with them during their struggle.


19 anganwadi workers against whom the government foisted false cases and an anganwadi helper who single handedly prevented the police from dismantling the hunger strike camp when the leaders were arrested and taken to jail, were presented ‘Bahaduri puraskar’ and felicitated in the meeting.