THE All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH), in a statement issued on July 13, has congratulated the anganwadi workers and helpers all over the country for the magnificent success of the observance of “All India Demands’ Day” on July 10.
As per the reports received so far, at the call of AIFAWH, more than six lakh anganwadi workers from 24 states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – observed the day at district head quarters.
In various states, the government had tried to prevent the anganwadi workers and helpers from participating in the struggle, by issuing notices, denying police permission etc. But even in Srinagar, anganwadi workers and helpers demonstrated for their demands. In Assam, in spite of heavy rain and floods, hundreds of anganwadi workers and helpers assembled in various districts. There were arrests in many places in the country.
This year, the AIFAWH Demand’s Day which falls on July 10, was marked by the expression of anger over the Modi government’s agreement with corporate company “Vedanta’ to use anganwadi centres for its skill development and the withdrawal of Anganwadi Karyakarti Bima Yojana’ the only social security available to the anganwadi workers and helpers.
The government which came to power promising to “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi workers” has clearly announced that “we will not increase their remuneration”. The recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference to recognise the anganwadi employees as workers, pay minimum wages and pension are totally ignored. Since 2011 the remuneration of the anganwadi employees has not been increased whereas the working hours have been increased to make it full time. There is an attack on their freedom of association.
AIFAWH once again congratulates the anganwadi workers and helpers for their successful show of strength and protest. AIFAWH calls upon the anganwadi workers and helpers to be prepared for higher forms of struggles including indefinite ‘sit in’ (padav) in Delhi in the coming days. AIFAWH appeals to the class and mass organisations of various sections and people at large to support its fight for the children’s right to food, health and education and to Save ICDS.