CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday batted strongly for fulfilling the demands of Aganwari workers, helpers and helpers to supervisors by the Jammu and Kashmir government and releasing the salaries of supervisors and wages of workers, helpers and helpers to supervisors pending for more than seven months.
The spokesman said that the insensitive approach of the state government towards the long-pending legitimate grievances of Anganwadi supervisors, workers, helpers and helpers to supervisors is unfortunate. Their demands should be fulfilled without any further delay. The salaries of Anganwari supervisors and wages of workers and helpers working under ICDS, pending for several months must be released immediately.
The weaker and poorer sections of the society have been totally neglected by the government which has severely hit their means of livelihood. Some of the Anganwadi workers and helpers are widows, who are the sole breadwinners of their respective families. How will they manage without if the government has stopped their wages?
Flaying the government for not heeding to the concerns of workers under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), he cautioned that such an attitude has created uncertainty among the workers, helpers and helpers to supervisors.
More deplorable is the attitude of the Department towards the helpers to supervisors who are being treated as surplus after working for years together. These helpers who have greatly contributed in making the scheme viable in the state have been pushed to the wall and the state government seems to be insensitive towards their well-being.
Many of these workers have crossed the age limit and now face a critical situation of losing their livelihood. The department should ensure that their livelihood is not put at stake and initiate urgent measures for absorbing them in the scheme. Not only the state government should regularise these workers and helpers but it should also pay them incentives as is being done by other states.
“I took up this matter with concerned authorities, who assured that salary of supervisors and wages of Anganwadi workers and helpers would be released soon and their genuine demands would be redressed on priority.”
He also cautioned the Government to stop the move to introduce direct/conditional cash transfers and packaged food in ICDS. The ICDS is a unique outreach programme to meet the nutritional needs of crores of children under the age of six and to improve the nutrition levels of pregnant and lactating mothers from the most vulnerable sections of our society. ICDS plays a vital role in a country which is home to 190 million undernourished people – the highest in the world.
Locally acceptable food freshly prepared in the Anganwadi centres should be served to the beneficiaries and not ‘Ready to Eat food’. There should be no Take Home Ration.
The weakening of ICDS can lead to an overall weakening of the trade union movement, particularly among women and rural workers. Considering all these aspects, it is important to fight and defeat this move.