Srinagar October 4: Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union J&K today held a protest demonstration at Sher-i-Kashmir Park in Srinagar. The protesting workers and helpers were demanding gratuity, the formulation of a pension scheme, immediate enhancement of their remuneration and withdrawal of the plan to privatize ICDS.
While addressing the protestors,Tanveera Khalid, State President andJameela Sabiri General Secretaryexpressed their concern over the plight of the Anganwadi Workers/Helpers, who have been adversely hit by the sky rocketing prices of essential commodities and the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the government. They said that the failure of the Government in extending social security benefits to the workers in the ICDS sector, violation of labour laws, non-implementation of minimum wages act; extensive contractualization of workforce, attack on trade union rights have proved detrimental to the interests of the Anganwadi Worker and helpers. Demanding enhancement of state share in the honorarium of Anganwadi workers and helpers on the pattern of Haryana Government, they said, social security benefits including gratuity, pension, provident fund, medical facilities etc should be provided to all Anganwadi workers and helpers in J&K also. They further demanded constitution of national level welfare fund for the Anganwadi employees with contribution from the central and the state governments.
Speaking on the occasion Mymoona Nazki, senior leader AWWHU said that the grass root workers of the ICDS should be entitled to decent living. She demanded framing of a standing mechanism in the Ministry of Women and Child Development for the revision in the rates of honorarium of Anganwadi workers and helpers. She urged upon the government to make Anganwadis as noodle centers for imparting pre-school education to the children between the age group of 3-6.Quality freshly prepared food, educational toys and play way equipment should be provided to the centres so that they become attractive and acceptable for the parents.
Pic by, Shah Jehangir/FK
Om Prakash, General Secretary CITUcalled upon all the workforce of the state to come on a common plate-form and intensify the struggle against the anti-workers policies of the government. He said that privatization in the form of restructuring of Integrated Child Development Services be stopped forthwith and instead all Anganwadi workers be regularized as Class III and helpers as Grade IV government employees.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Mohamad Maqbool Ganie and Ab. Rashid Najar, senior CITU leaders .
Mean while Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union denounced the use of force on its workers and demanded immediate release of the detained workers.