Vol. XLI No. 16 April 16, 2017

KARNATAKA: Anganwadi Workers Win a Decisive Battle

AFTER the discussions held with the Karnataka Anganwadi Noukarara Sangha (affiliated to CITU)  on April 10, the chief minister agreed to a further increase of Rs1000 for workers, Rs 500 for helpers and Rs 500 for mini anganwadi workers.  An increase of Rs 1000 for anganwadi worker and Rs 500 for helper has already been announced in the state budget. Thus the total increase has become Rs 2000 for workers, Rs 1000 for helpers and Rs 1500 for mini workers. Now the remuneration will be Rs 8000 for anganwadi workers, Rs 5250 for mini workers and 4000 for helpers. This is the highest ever increase in the honorarium achieved by anganwadi workers in the history of ICDS in Karnataka. 

Apart from the hike in honorarium, few other demands were also addressed. An expert committee was constituted to look into service rules of anganwadi workers. Medical compensation limit is raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000. Anganwadi workers have been eased of responsibility/liability related to RTI. They have been earlier burdened with the responsibility of RTI and have been harassed/victimised. 

It may be recalled that the historic four-day (March 20-24) struggle in Bangalore, occupying the road leading to Vidhan Soudha was withdrawn on the basis of assurances given by the CM that discussions will be held on April 10 as soon as the by-election process is over.  The CM and the concerned officials had discussions with Anganwadi unions on April 10 as promised.

Talking to newspersons after the CM's announcements, CITU state president and anganwadi union leader, S Varalakshmi said that this is not the end of the struggle. Anganwadi workers will continue their struggle against the central government. Currently the central government contributes only a share of Rs 1800 in the total honorarium of Rs 8000 for anganwadi workers. Anganwadi union met on April 12 and chalked out further struggles against the central government, including picketing of ministers. The struggle will continue till anganwadi workers get statutory minimum wages and statutory benefits, Varalakshmi added.

CPI(M) state secretary GV Sreeramareddy and VJK Nair CPI(M) state secretariat member and vice president Karnataka CITU also participated in the discussions.