Anganwadi workers on stir, threaten to boycott elections in Odisha
The anganwadi workers are also demanding provision of EPF, ESIC and gratuity at the earliest.
BHUBANESWAR: Amid ongoing protest of primary teachers, Anganwadi workers on Friday hit the streets and threatened to boycott the upcoming elections if their demands are not met.
Thousands of Anganwadi workers under the banner of All Odisha Anganwadi Ladies Workers Association assembled at Mahatma Gandhi Marg and staged protest to press for their 10-point charter of demands that included a pay hike to at least Rs 18,000 per month. They demanded the matter be raised in the Assembly by elected representatives during the ongoing monsoon session to compel the government to take action.
Members of the Association said even after working for 30-40 years anganwadi workers lead a miserable life after retirement. They said despite assisting the government in all kinds of field activities at the grassroots and performing Anganwadi duties, their remuneration is even less than a daily wager.
“The Anganwadi workers are being paid only Rs 7,500 and Anganwadi sahayikas just Rs 3,700 per month as remuneration,” said Association general secretary Kunjalata Das and demanded it be hiked to Rs 18,000 for Anganwadi workers and Rs 9,000 for sahayikas, till they are regularised.
The demands of the Anganwadi workers also include the status of pre-primary teachers, benefits of Rs 5 lakh during retirement, Rs 5,000 pension and formation of Anganwadi workers and Sahayikas Welfare Board.
The Anganwadi workers are also demanding the provision of EPF, ESIC and gratuity at the earliest. The Association members said around 25,000 Anganwadi workers and sahayikas staged protest on the day. The agitation will be intensified by all 1.30 lakh workers and sahayikas across 72,000 Anganwadi centres if their demands are not met.