Anganwadi workers plan statewide protest from February 1

Anganwadi workers plan statewide protest from February 1

Oppose attempts to privatise Integrated Child Development Scheme

Anganwadi workers at district centres across the State will stage protest from February 2 to19, protesting the move to privatise Integrated Child Development Scheme.

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, Karnataka Anganwadi Workers’ Association state president S Varalakshmi charged the State government of attempting to privatise ICDS on the pretext of revamping the scheme.

“It has been proposed to change the infrastructure maintenance and service distribution under ICDS. While 15 pc of anganwadi centres would be provided buildings the remaining will have to mobile resources locally. All these Mission Mode recommendations of Women and Child Development Department are unscientific,” Varalakshmi said.

She claimed that systematic efforts were being made to privatise the scheme, which provides quality education and food to children.

As many as 56 lakh people including children under six years of age, adolescent girls and pregnant women are benefitting from the scheme. Under such circumstances, the State government has been attempting to privatise a highly beneficial scheme.

The implementation of the scheme has been entrusted to a non-governmental organisation by name Prajayatna in Tiptur and another NGO by name Pratham has been vested with the responsibility in Mysuru.

“Influential organisations have been attempting to secure the contract for implementing the scheme in Belagavi and Bidar. The government should take suitable steps to prevent privatisation efforts failing which the association will launch an agitation,” she said.

Varalakshmi said that it was for the first time in 40 years since ICDS came into effect that such a struggle was being taken up. Anganwadi workers would stage a dharna in front of the deputy commissioner’s office at all the districts. A huge protest will be staged at Bengaluru on February 20 if the government did not relent.

She said that the government would be urged to pay minimum wages for anganwadi workers and accord ‘D’group cadre for them.

A separate service rules should be introduced to prevent harassment of anganwadi workers by senior officials and funds should be reserved in the budget for anganwadi workers, she demanded.

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