CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has urged the State government to release the wages in favour of Anganwadi workers, helpers pending for several months without any further delay.
Although Anganwadi workers and helpers have forced the Union government to announce an increase in their remuneration, the basic issues of recognition, pension and social security have still not been addressed, the leader said in a statement issued by his party.
He said the meagre hike in wages is not going to address the burning issues of Anganwadi workers and helpers, as their families are dependent on them. The government recently enhanced the honorarium in favour of these workers/helpers to Rs. 5100 and 2550 respectively; however the announcement of PDP-led government in the last Budget session to enhance the honorarium of Anganwadi workers by Rs 500 has not been fulfilled.
The administrative apathy towards their genuine issues is against justice and fair play. Social security benefits including promotion, gratuity, pension, provident fund, medical facilities, etc., should be provided to all Anganwadi workers and helpers.
Modi Government is the first government which had drastically cut down the allocation for ICDS to less than half in its first budget. It had closed down the Planning commission and proposed to close down the centrally sponsored schemes. It has been trying to privatise the ICDS. It has made an agreement with corporate Vedanta where half of the time in anganwadis will be spent on skill development of women in the area. Now, the ministry is going ahead with the Direct Cash transfer in place of nutrition for the beneficiaries as per the direction of NITI Ayog. The pilot project has been proposed in UP and Rajasthan. This, if implemented, will dismantle the ICDS, the spokesman said.
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.