July 17, 2016

Six Lakh Anganwadi Workers & Helpers Observe “Black Day” on July 11

THE All India federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) has congratulated the anganwadi workers and helpers all over the country for the magnificent success of the observance of “Black Day” on July 11, 2016.

In a press statement issued on July 11, AIFWAH said that as per the reports received so far, more than six lakh anganwadi workers from 24 states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – observed “black day” on July 11, 2016 at the call of AIFAWH. Hundreds and thousands of anganwadi workers and helpers wearing black dress, holding black banners, flags etc held demonstrations, dharnas, rallies etc at project, district and state headquarters in different states. 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. Even the pouring rain could not diminish their fighting spirit.

In Chhattisgarh, the anganwadi workers and helpers sat on a three-day long day and night dharna from July 11-13 at the state headquarters. In Madhya Pradesh the anganwadi employees were on two-day strike on July 11-12, 2016.

In Delhi, the anganwadi workers and helpers assembled in front of the CM’s residence and held a protest march. They were arrested and later released. In Gujarat, the employees held a militant protest rally. Even in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, there were district level protests.

AIFAWH had given a call to observe July 11, 2016 – the anganwadi demands day as “black day” against the government’s planned move to dismantle the ICDS through consecutive budget cuts and privatisation and handing over the centres to big corporate tax defaulters and corporate NGOs in the name of resource crunch. The government which came to power promising “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. There is an attack on their freedom of association. Since 2011, the remuneration of the anganwadi employees has not been increased whereas the working hours have been increased to make it full time.

AIFAWH once again congratulates the anganwadi workers and helpers for their successful grand show of strength and protest and calls upon them to campaign against the anti-worker policies of the government and join the general strike called by the central trade unions on September 2, 2016, the statement said and called upon the common people to support the fight for children’s right to food, health and education and to Save ICDS.