Rajasthan: Anganwadi Workers from 10 Districts Gather in Pali, Demand Regularisation
Anganwadi workers in Rajasthan have been pleading with the government for their regularisation for a long time. Now, ahead of the Assembly elections due later this year, the women workers are in a mood to fight one-on-one with the government regarding their demands.
On Sunday, about 7,000 Anganwadi workers and helpers from 10 districts gathered at Bangar Stadium in Pali and expressed their anger against the Ashok Gehlot government.
In April, too, these women workers had organised a big meeting in Jaisalmer under the banner of the Anganwadi Family Employees Organisation and handed over a memorandum of their five-point demands to the government. They also warned the government that if their demands were not considered in time, they would “show the mirror” to the Congress-led government which was “reneging” on its promises.
Ratanlal Chowdhary, associated with the organisation, told NewsClick, that in 2018, the Congress had promised in its election manifesto that it would regularise workers in Anganwadis and other departments. “But now, that it has been almost four and a half years since the Gehlot government came to power, they regularised workers in other departments but did not care for the Anganwadi workers, which is a matter of concern,” he said.
Chowdhary said more than 7,000 Anganwadi workers from 10 districts had gathered in Pali on Sunday and once again demanded regularisation. “Anganwadi workers contribute in every field, from education and health to women empowerment. Also, they extended their services to the people even during the Corona period, so their economic exploitation should be stopped soon. Also, they should also be freed from the trap of online systems like GPS,”he added.
What are the demands of Anganwadi workers?
The first and most important demand of Anganwadi workers is that all four categories (worker, sahayika, gram sathin, ASHA Sahyogini) should be appointed in permanent government service.
Second, they should get a respectable gratuity amount after retirement. Along with this, a pension facility should also be available every month.
Third, like holidays in the calendar of the education and health department, a calendar should be issued for Anganwadi workers. They should also get medical, allowances and promotions.
Apart from this, till the government does not make them permanent, they should be given a proper monthly pay scale.
Gehlot government accused of breach of promise
Addressing the workers in Pali, Pyari, the state president of Anganwadi Family Employees Organisation, Rajasthan, said that neither officials nor the government was worried about Anganwadi women employees, therefore, the Anganwadi workers must “wake up the government in this election year.”
“Because if the government still does not take care of us, then the four Anganwadi workers at each Anganwadi centre in each Gram Panchayat will leave no stone unturned in demonstrating their power equal to 4,000,” Pyari said.
Babita, senior state vice-president of the organisation, said Anganwadi workers were devoting their lives to a child from birth to the age of six years like a mother. They were taking schemes of the state to the public, but the government was paying no attention toward them.
“This government has its last chance to fulfil its promise. Otherwise, the Congress government's claim of women's empowerment will be considered hollow,” she said.
Notably, Anganwadi workers make a significant contribution to bringing the government's health and women and child development schemes to the ground. According to these activists, they have been working for years on very low honorariums. They have to survive with only Rs 8,000-9,000 a month. With elections round the corner, the workers are also getting more aggressive, with some of them saying they would even boycott the elections if their demands were not met.
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