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Anganwadi workers seek salary hike

BANGALORE, June 18, 2013, DHNS: 2:32 IST
The minister for Women and Child Development, Umashree, has asked anganwadi workers to submit a proposal asking for an increase in wages, before the chief minister ahead of the up-coming budget session.

Addressing anganwadi workers at a conference here on Tuesday, Umashree narrated an incident in which the mother of a girl, seeking to apply for the Bhagyalakshmi Bond Scheme, was forced to pay a bribe of Rs 2,000 to an agananwadi worker to get the application processed. Umashree warned that such demands are against the law and said that strict action will be taken against such workers.

The allegation did not go down well with the anganwadi workers.

‘Politicians are corrupt’

One worker retorted that if one such person took a bribe, it doesn't mean that all workers are corrupt. “Politicians and officers are much more corrupt, but their names never come up for enquiry,” a worker said.

Members of the Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Workers' Federation placed a host of demands before the minister, including shortages of food supplies to anganwadi centres.
“Ever since the government extended the aganwadi timings to 4 pm for children below the age of 5, workers have been facing problems feeding the children, because of the limited food stocks,” they said.

The workers demanded the timely payment of their wages before the fifth of every month. Workers have also asked for health insurance and housing for those workers who have retired after 60 years.

No minimum wages

Speaking to reporters, G R Shivashankar, the president of the federation said that it is very unfortunate that these anganwadi workers do not even receive minimum wages as per labour laws.

“The government has burdened the anganwadi workers to maintain nearly 30 records and are paid a mere Rs 4,500 for workers and Rs 2,500 for helpers,” he said.

“It is not just about poor payments, but a lack of social security to these workers who are harassed by every politician and officer.”

Shivashankar said that they have placed their list of demands before the minister and if no action taken, then plans will be made to conduct a State-wide protest on August 9.

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