Anganwadi workers not to relent till salary is hiked

Anganwadi workers not to relent till salary is hiked

Anganwadi workers not to relent till salary is hiked

 Anganwadi workers have decided not to call off their indefinite protest till their demand for a salary hike is fulfilled. A meeting between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers' Association (KSAWA) office-bearers on Tuesday failed.

The protest will enter the third day on Wednesday. The workers want their salaries hiked from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000.

"The chief minister wanted us to wait till the byelections to Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly constituencies conclude on April 19. He had made promises twice in the past, but failed to fulfil them. Hence, we decided to protest till the government increases our salary,” Sunanda H N, general secretary, KSAWA, told DH.

“He claimed that he was under tremendous pressure and needed time to think over our demands. He also referred to the election code of conduct. But the code of conduct is applicable only to Chamarajnagar and Mysuru districts,” she said.

“He had promised to hike our salaries when we protested in 2015 and on January 31, February 1 and 2, 2017. But he failed to do anything,” she added.

Varlakshmi, president of the Anganwadi association and Sunanda discussed the government’s assurance with the protesters, but the protesters favoured protests till the government fulfilled their demands.

“Around 15,000 women from across the state have been sitting on protest on Sheshadri Road since Monday afternoon. Another 5,000 women are expected to join on Wednesday. We will surely gather around 50,000 workers and show our strength,” Varlakshmi said.

Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar met the protesters and extended their support. However, the protesters clarified that they did not want any support, but wanted the two leaders to raise the issue in the Assembly.

Narayanamma, an anganwadi worker from Bidar said she had been working for the past two decades for a salary of Rs 2,000 till recently. It had become extremely difficult for her to manage expenses.

Bhadramma from Davangere said the protesters are finding it difficult to relieve themselves. “Workers are finding it difficult to get drinking water and food,” she said.

Traffic was affected as workers blocked one side of Sheshadri Road at Anand Rao Circle flyover. The police closed one side of the stretch between Freedom Park and Anand Rao Circle.

Due to the blockade, there was congestion at Seshadripuram, Okalipuram, Vatal Nagaraj Road, Raj Bhavan Road, Palace Road, Shivananda Circle, Krishna Flour Mill, Shanthala junction, Basaveshwara Circle, Khoday's Circle, Race Course Road and Swastik Circle. Vehicles moved slowly in Upparpet, Chickpet, KG Road and KR Circle. The police deployed additional forces, mostly women constables, to ensure peace, while traffic police handled the vehicular movement.

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