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Anganwadis are gardens of children, pay workers at least minimum wages: CPI(M) MPs

Sivadasan said people are welcoming spring in the national capital while asking when spring comes to the children
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 15 March 2022, 13:43 IST
Last Updated : 15 March 2022, 13:43 IST
Last Updated : 15 March 2022, 13:43 IST
Last Updated : 15 March 2022, 13:43 IST

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On a day the national capital witnessed a protest by scheme workers, CPI(M) MPs Elamaram Kareem and Dr V Sivadasan on Tuesday batted for treating anganwadi and mid-day meal workers as workers rather than volunteers, increasing their salary to minimum wages and giving them social security.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, CPI(M) floor leader Kareem said a large number of workers are engaged in sectors related to ICDS, National Health Mission and mid-day meal, which is now known as PM Poshan Scheme, and cater to more than 20 crore children under 14 years and 3-5 crore women.

"Around 60 lakh women -- 26 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers, 27 lakh mid-day meal workers and 10 lakh ASHA workers -- deliver the services to each household of the country. But, they are not recognised as workers but treated as volunteers and are given a meagre amount as an honorarium. The minimum wages are not extended to them. No social security or pension schemes are extended to them," Kareem said.

As the budget allocation is getting reduced every year and it is "very unfortunate" that in 2021-22 and 2022-23, it was "drastically reduced", he demanded that the minimum wage of Rs 26,000 per month recommended by the 45th Indian Labour Conference and other social security benefits such as pension should be extended to these workers.

Sivadasan said people are welcoming spring in the national capital while asking when spring comes to the children

"Anagwadis are the gardens of the children and they are growing there. We are seeing that the Union Government is not ready to provide financial assistance for proper drinking water facilities, proper space management and other proper amenities. The workers and helpers in Anganwadis are getting only a meagre amount of salary. The fixed salary of a worker is only Rs 4,500," he said.

Sivadasan said the union government's share in anganwadi workers' salary is Rs 2,700 or 60% of the total. While the honorarium of a helper is at Rs 2,250, he said, but the central share is Rs 1,350 only.

"Majority of anganwadis are working without proper space. They don’t have basic amenities. Our Finance Minister has said that two lakh anganwadis will be modernised but there is no provision made. It is very necessary that the government intervenes. We need to protect our garden and protect our young children. They are facing a lot of problems with regard to sanitation and other things. The salary of the teachers of Anganwadis may be increased," he added.

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Published 15 March 2022, 13:43 IST

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