Press Trust of india

Anganwadi workers stage sit-in; demand release of pending salaries

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Jammu, Mar 13 :Anganwadi workers and helpers today took to streets and staged a sit-in here in support of their demands, including release of pending salaries and hike in honorarium.

The sit-in protest by over 500 women under the banner of Anganwadi workers and helpers association near the Press Club was peaceful, though they raised slogans against government for its alleged failure to address their issue.

“We are on strike for the last 41 days but it is unfortunate that nobody from the government visited us to take note of our genuine demands,” president of the Association Suman Suri told PTI.

She said besides the demand for hike in honorarium and release of pending salaries, the association is seeking seniority list, implementation of the pension scheme and gratuity of Rs 2 lakh for workers and Rs 1 lakh for helpers on retirement.     “We are getting a meager amount of Rs 3,600 and Rs 1,800 for workers and helpers respectively, while as our counterparts in other states, including Delhi are getting Rs 10,000 and Rs 6,000 for the same work,” Suri said.

She said the association had attached high hopes with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

“We were expecting her (Mehbooba) to understand and come out with a solution to our problems. It is not possible to meet both the ends on such a meager amount,” she said.

There are about 28,000 Anganwadi workers and helpers in the state who are working since 1975 under the Integrated Child Development Scheme.  Last week,  senior CPI (M) leader and MLA M Y Tarigami extended support to the protesting workers and asked the government to fulfil their long-pending demands.

“Neither any pension scheme is available for them nor the government has awarded them anything for their services,” the CPI(M) leader had said.

He said the government makes tall claims when it comes to the welfare of women but the reality is that injustice is being done with them.

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