People's Democracy

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


No. 12

March 13, 2012



Anganwadi Workers Score Victory through Struggles


P Roja



THOUSANDS of anganwadi employees under the banner of Andhra Pradesh Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ Union marched on the streets of the state’s capital, Hyderabad  on March 6, 2012 demanding immediate payment of the arrears of enhanced remuneration that was due from April 1, 2011, increase in the additional remuneration paid by the state government, retirement benefits including gratuity, pension etc. More than 15,000 anganwadi employees from all the districts in the state participated in the procession that started from Sundarayya Park in Baghlingampally to the Indira Park.


It is to be recalled that the government of India has announced an increase in the remuneration of the anganwadi employees on February 28, 2011, after prolonged struggles. But even after around one year, the Andhra Pradesh state government did not pay the increased remuneration, despite repeated representations from the union. The union organised project, district and state level mobilisations and submitted memoranda to the government but the government did not act. It did not take any measures to implement its assurance that was given on March 21, of providing retirement benefits and increase in the share of state government. Instead, it was opening parallel nutrition centres and nursery centres in the vicinity of the anganwadi centres due to which the number of children attending the anganwadi centres was coming down.


Against such insensitive attitude of the state government, the union called for March to Assembly on March 6. The response of the anganwadi employees was massive. Sensing the angry mood among the anganwadi employees and their resolve to stay in Hyderabad till the relevant Government Order was issued, come whatever, the state government was compelled to announce on the television that the government was issuing the order. However, considering their past experience, the anganwadi employees were not ready to believe the announcement and reached Hyderabad and sat on a dharna, which was presided by B Lalitamma, president of the union.


A delegation met the deputy secretary of the Women and Child Development who confirmed the release of the government order and gave a copy of the same. Later members of the delegation including Hemalata, general secretary of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, P Roja, general secretary of AP Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ Union and others addressed the dharna and congratulated the anganwadi employees for achieving the order through their struggle. Sudha Bhaskar, general secretary of AP state committee of the CITU and several other leaders of the CITU and other mass organisations addressed the gathering.