March to Parliament on 21 Nove...

29 October 2014
March to Parliament on  21 November 2014 to Save ICDS

A four day Workshop on ‘ICDS Mission’ and Organisational review of AIFAWH were held from 21-24 August 2014 at Gulbarga, Karnataka. Coming from 17 states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh(C), Delhi, Guja...

Anganwadi Worker Murdered in S...

30 October 2014
Anganwadi Worker Murdered in Sunia Village

A delegation of the AIFAWH West Bengal unit went to the village where Dipali Giri, an anganwadi worker was stripped, paraded naked, gang raped and hacked to death and her body hung on a tree in Sunia...

Anganwadi workers, ayahs deman...

05 November 2014
Anganwadi workers, ayahs demand better pay

Demanding that the government pay them a monthly salary of Rs.15,000 and Rs.10,000 respectively, Anganwadi workers and ayahs in the district converged here on Monday and took out an impressive rally....

Twenty three thousand anganwad...

27 November 2014
Twenty three thousand anganwadi workers and helpers March to Parliament

Twenty three thousand anganwadi workers and helpers March to Parliament Submits 1.64 crore signatures to Prime Minister In one of the biggest ever mobilisation of women workers in the capital, on 21 N...

25 Years of AIFAWH and the Tas...

04 January 2015
25 Years of AIFAWH and the Tasks Ahead

The ‘All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ (AIFAWH) extends warm greetings to all the anganwadi workers and helpers in the country, all its members, activists and cadres and wishes th...

AIFAWH - 25 years of Struggles...

11 January 2015
AIFAWH - 25 years of Struggles and Achievements

The ‘All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ (AIFAWH) came into being on 6th January 1991 in its first national conference in Udaipur in Rajasthan. The past twenty five years have been...

Continue the fight to Save Ind...

11 January 2015
Continue the fight to Save India from Hunger and Malnutrition

Call of AIFAWH National Seminar on “Malnutrition in India and the ICDS as ‘Mission’ India , the ‘Republic of Hunger’ as she call it, has gone from bad to worse in hunger, and the fight to Save the Int...

Heroic Struggle of Anganwadi W...

21 February 2015
Heroic Struggle of Anganwadi Workers in Karnataka

‘THE heart of the city comes to a standstill!’, ‘Stranded Vehicles’, ‘Total traffic jam between 12 and 3 pm’, ‘Women Squatting right in the middle of Road in front of Freedom Park’, ‘A Deluge of Peopl...

Women and Children Neglected;...

28 February 2015
Women and Children Neglected; Allocations to ICDS Cut by Half

AIFAWH Calls for Country wide Protest Demonstrations The Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister displays a total lack of concern towards the well being of the women and children of the countr...

AIFAWH Demands Day 2015

11 July 2015
AIFAWH Demands Day 2015

Nearly two lakh anganwadi workers and helpers took to the streets to observe ‘Demands’ Day’ on 10th July 2015 in spite of heavy rains. Protest against the drastic cut in the Central Budget for ICDS an...

Victory of Anganwadi workers a...

29 July 2015
Victory of Anganwadi workers and helpers in Tripura

AIFAWH welcomes the decision of the Left front government of Tripura to extend pension to the anganwadi workers and helpers of the state. AIFAWH congratulates the Tripura anganwadi workers and helpers...

8th Conference of AIFAWH

09 January 2016
8th Conference of AIFAWH

8th conference of Anganwadi workers and helpers began on 7th January 2016 in RTC Kala Bhavan, Hyderabad at sharp 10.00am in the morning. Among the loud slogans of Revolution Long live and Down with Ca...

Fight For Freedom from Hunger, Malnutrition, Ill Health and Illiteracy, Hatred and Discrimination!

With a resolve to strengthen the ongoing struggles for strengthening the ICDS for Freedom from hunger, malnutrition, ill health and illiteracy and to take up a campaign to free the nation from hatred and discrimination, the ninth conference of AIFAWH was concluded in the historic city of Rajamahendravaram, (Rajahmundry), Andhra Pradesh on 20 November 2019.

The four day conference held at Vimal Ranadive Nagar, P Padmini Hall, Maya Ojha Manch (River Bay) began with Usharani, President, hoisting the flag on 17th November 2019. The Chairman of the reception committee Illa Venkateswara Rao, MLC welcomed the delegates.

Tapan Sen, General Secretary CITU, inaugurated the conference. He gave the policy frame work in which the ICDS is also under attack. He congratulated the AIFAWH and its state unions for the militant struggles and achievements during this period. He said that while the working class comes under the red flag to fight back against the attack of its rights, they get divided on various counts in their social life. He called upon the anganwadi employees to take up the responsibility of removing this dichotomy by exposing the policies and increasing the level of consciousness of the exploited class.

A resolution in support of the General Strike called by the central trade unions was placed by AR Sindhu in the inaugural session.

A presidium was elected with Usharani President, (convenor), Babyrani (AP), Varalakshmi (Karnataka), Mary Jobe (Kerala), Pavitra (Maharashtra, Helper), Kajal Rani Sarkar (Tripura), Manisha Chakraborty (WB), S K Lakshmi Beebi (AP, Helper). The Minutes Committee consisted of comrades Jaya Barman (Convenor), Mahavir Dahiya, Gajendra Jha, Sarala and Jagatram. A Credentials Committee was formed with Anju Maini (Convenor), Vijayalakshmi, Mita Ghosh, Ekalakshmi, Meena Mech and Afsana Begum. The Resolutions Committee consisted of Veena Gupta (Convenor), Jayalakshmi, Indira Newar, Rajkumari, Ratna Dutta, K K Prasannakumari, Sunanda and Shubha Shamim.

The condolence resolution was moved by Veena Gupta, Secretary, AIFAWH.

Usharani gave the presidential address.

A R Sindhu, General Secretary, placed the Report of the General Secretary. The report was placed in three parts – i) policies and movements, ii) organisation and iii) task of organising other working people and taking up a campaign against hate and discrimination. The report said that during the period of three and half years from the 8th conference, all the state unions conducted militant struggles independently and jointly and could achieve increase in wages from ranging from Rs.500 per month to Rs.5000 per month. AIFAWH could initiate and develop their own struggles against the policies and could also advance the struggles of scheme workers which need to be consolidated. During the period, although the membership has shown an increase of 15.27%, it is too little compared to the influence of the unions and the possibilities, the report pointed out.

Anju Maini, Treasurer, placed the Report of the Treasurer and accounts for the years 2016-17 to 2018-19.

Two rallies with more than ten thousand anganwadi workers and helpers in red sarees were held at 2pm. Cultural performances by various teams made it very attractive. Another procession with all the delegates behind their state banners, shouting slogans in different languages attracted the attention of the passers in the small city of Rajamahendravaram. The public meeting was inaugurated by K Hemalata, President CITU. It was addressed by A R Sindhu, M A Gaffoor and Narasinga Rao, General Secretary and President AP CITU.

71 delegates took part in the discussions which were held in three sessions. Delegate from Kashmir, Latifa, narrated the problems they are facing at present and their fight against privatization of ICDS. She was greeted with slogans of “Kashmir continue your fight for unity and democratic rights, the whole India is with you” by the delegates. Delegates self critically assessed the weaknesses of the organisation and put forward many suggestions for further struggles. All state delegations took quotas for increasing membership to reach a target of 6.7 lakhs by 2020.

In the section “Against Hate and Discrimination; Reaching out to Various Sections” the possibilities of interventions were discussed in detail. It is decided to intervene to inculcate progressive values, rationality, respect for diverse cultures and practices etc among the children. It is also decided to challenge the existing retrograde discriminatory practices against women through cultural interventions.

The conference was greeted by the leaders of fraternal organisations. Kesava Rao, senior leader and Working committee Member of All India Kisan Sabha greeted the delegates and called for militant joint struggles. He said that the struggles of anganwadi workers and helpers are an inspiration for the peasantry, in struggle. He emphasized the role the anganwadi workers and helpers can play in educating and organising the rural poor. AIDWA joint secretary Tapsi Praharaj greeted the conference. She highlighted the areas of common interest and scope of joint struggles. Avoy Mukherjee, DYFI General Secretary assured full support to the struggle of AIFAWH and reminded of the importance to fight against the communal danger. Venkateswarulu, Joint secretary AIAWU, while greeting the conference called upon for militant joint struggle of the rural workers.

Jaibhgawan, General Secretary, MDMWFI called for much more attention to develop common struggles of scheme workers to resist the attack on the schemes by better coordination. Surekha, from the AICC Asha Workers greeted the conference, narrating the successful struggles and emphasising on more joint struggles, and asked the delegates to consolidate the organisation as well.

Resolutions on ‘Strengthening the ECCE in anganwadi centres’ (moved by S Varlalakshmi and supported by Shubha Shamim ), On Observance of 50 years of CITU( moved by Shakuntala and supported by Sunanda), ‘In support of the people of Kashmir’ (moved by Arati and supported by Lateefa), Solidarity with the struggle of students of JNU (moved by Veena Gupta and supported by A R Sindhu), Against attack on democratic Rights (moved by Neelima Maitra and supported by Karthyayani ), Against atrocities on Dalits , Adivasis (moved by Jaya Barman and supported by Indira Newar), Against atrocities on women and children (moved by Rajkumari and supported by Shubha Shamim ), On organising other sectors (moved Subbravamma and supported by Kishori Verma)

The cultural team of AP anganwadi union inspired the delegates with revolutionary songs and cultural programmes. In the evening on the third day there was a camp fire and various state delegations presented their cultural programmes.

The Credentials report was presented by Anju Maini.

The conference was concluded by K Hemalata, President CITU and former General Secretary AIFAWH who was present throughout the conference. She emphasized the possibilities of the movement and the importance of politicalisation of cadres at various levels.

The conference gave warm greetings to the reception committee members and volunteers who worked day and night to make the conference a big success. Arun (joint convenor reception committee) introduced the members of the various committees and the volunteers.

The conference ended with shouting of slogans and singing the Internationale by the Praja natya mandali.

The conference decided to reorient the work ideologically, politically and organizationally

Ideologically – understand our role, as part of the working class, in changing society, which alone can end all exploitation

Politically – understand the link between our problems and the problems of the working class and toiling masses in general, and the policies being pursued by the government and that it is the politics of the ruling classes that decide these policies; prioritise and orient the direction of our movement accordingly

Organisationally- attracting and preparing the best dedicated, ideologically equipped class cadres with most innovative, creative, democratic and inclusive methods and through them reaching out to the masses to prepare them for the most militant class confrontation

For that, ruthless criticism of ourselves on our own feudal, patriarchal, undemocratic traits as individuals as well as an organisation and weeding out such vices.

Scientific and meticulous planning with minute details is necessary for consolidation and expansion.

With that resolve the conference took the following tasks

Immediate Tasks

Rigorous Campaign for next forty days for the 8 January 2020 General strike to reach at least 10 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers to expose the anti worker policies of the Modi II government. Minimum 10 lakh leaflets to be distributed. Conduct all sector/circle/block meetings to reach all members.

  1. 8 January 2020 strike to be made a successful ‘Bharat Bandh’. At least 10 lakh workers to be brought to the streets on the strike day. Organise Rail/Road Roko programmes. Circle/Block / District level dharnas for 24 hours on strike day.
  2. 8 March 2020 to be observed as a struggle day as per CITU call. Massive campaign before the action.
  3. Special campaign and action for quality Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in anganwadis in place of the proposed ‘Pre School Education’ before the next academic year
  4. National convention for ‘Hunger, malnutrition, hatred, fear and discrimination free childhood’ in March/April to highlight the importance of ICDS and the role of anganwadi employees
  5. 10 July 2020 March to Parliament on regularization and save ICDS with minimum 35000 participation
  6. Reporting of the conference up to the circle/sectoral level
  7. A workshop of Hindi speaking states in December (along with MDMWFI and AICCAW)
  8. State level workshop to fine plan the conference tasks within three months

Movemental Tasks

  1. Campaign and movement against hunger and malnutrition and for strengthening ICDS with adequate nutrition, health facilities and quality Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
  2. Strengthen all India movement on implementation of 45th ILC recommendations and for anganwadi cum crèche centres with all facilities and resources
  3. Strengthen the State level movements for uniform facilities as in other states.
  4. Develop Scheme workers’ movement
  5. Take up issues of other sections of the working people
  6. Massive campaign and actions for communal harmony, rationality and egalitarian values against hatred, obscurantism and discrimination on the basis of gender, caste and ethnicity

Organisational Tasks

  1. Strengthen the all India Centre with more cadre and resources
  2. Activise inactive unions in states
  3. Strengthen the state centres and equip them to take up the tasks
  4. Increase membership to 6.75 lakhs in 2020
  5. Special Plan for consolidation of movement in Hindi Speaking states
  6. Special attention on problems of helpers. Promote them in leadership to achieve a target of minimum 25% at all levels
  7. Priority in cadre building at all levels. Target 25 cadres per district
  8. Special drive for trade union education for cadres at various levels with appropriate syllabus on the occasion of 50 years of CITU. Develop adequate teachers as well
  9. Strengthen ties with fraternal mass organisations on issue based struggles
  10. Achieve set target in organizing other sectors in coordination with their organisations

The conference elected a 75 member committee with 25 office bearers. New office bearers are Usharani, President, A R Sindhu, General Secretary and Anju Maini, Treasurer.

Profile of Delegates – Credential Report

The conference was attended by 668 delegates (595 delegates and 73 observers) from 24 unions of 23 states. The conference was attended by 535 Workers (including 6 retired workers), 77 helpers (12.94%) 4 Mini workers and 51 organisers and 1 ASHA (fraternal delegate) attended the conference. 26 were male delegates.

20% of the delegates were below 40 years. 40% were between 40 to 50 years of age. Neelima Maitra, the founder General Secretary who is 86 years old, was the oldest delegate and Pooja Nagesh, 27 years, from Chhatisgarh (D) was the youngest. While 24% of the delegates were graduates, and 13% post graduates, only 4 were illiterate. 12% of the delegates were widows, divorcees or separated. 18.11% delegates were scheduled castes, 6.34% tribals and 31.44% were OBCs and 5.7% were minorities. 12% were from peasant families, 29% from agricultural worker families and 23% were from unorganized sector worker families.

51% of the delegates have more than 20 years of service. 62% of the delegates have family income below Rs.12,000 per month. 65% of the delegates are members of the union for more than 10 years and 15% between 5-10 years. 20% subscribe to ‘The Voice of the Working Woman,. 39% are district level leaders while 28% are state level leaders of the union. The conference was attended by 6 all India Office bearers of CITU as delegates, 14 Working Committee/General Council members. 15% of the delegates are state level leaders of CITU also.

4 delegates have attended all the all India Conferences. But almost half, 49% attended the conference for the first time. The conference was attended by 10 Gram Panchayat members and one councillor and two members of cooperative societies.

Lakhs of workers in states Assam, AP, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, HP, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, MP, Maharashtra, Punjab, Pondicherry, Rajasthan, TN, UP, Uttarakhand and WB held demonstrations at district and block level and gave memorandum to the Minister for WCD, Government of India. In Haryana and Jharkhand the anganwadi workers and helpers were on strike against the state governments.

AIFAWH has given this call to press for the long pending demands of the more than 26 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers in the country and the immediate issue of the government policy and opening up of unscientific pre-schools throughout the country. AIFWAWH has also raised the issue of the labour law changes by the Modi government in this protest

The demands are

  • Institutionalization of ICDS
  • Right to education for 3-6 years old children
  • Scientific pre- school education only through anganwadis for the future of the children
  • Regulate/ban unscientific pre-schools or convert them into anganwadis
  • Regularise anganwadi workers and helpers and all scheme workers as employees; pay minimum wages and pension
  • Withdraw the pro employer change in the labour laws

AIFAWH’s protest action was synchronized with the AIKS-CITU call for action against the anti labour policies and privatization spree by the Modi government on 5th September 2019, the anniversary of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh rally last year.

This protest was also in coordination with the protests by ASHA and Mid Day Meal workers held on 3rd and 4th September respectively throughout the country on the same and similar demands which were called by All India Coordination Committee of ASHA workers and Mid Day Meal Workers Federation of India.

Issued by
A R Sindhu
AIFAWH

देश भर की लाखों आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं ने जिला मुख्यालयों पर विरोध प्रदर्शन किए

देश के कई हिस्सों में भारी बारिश के बावजूद, लाखों आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं ने ऑल इंडिया फेडरेशन ऑफ आंगनवाड़ी वर्कर्स एंड हेल्पर्स (आइफा) के आह्वान पर आज 10 जुलाई 2019 को अखिल भारतीय मांग दिवस मनाया। इस वर्ष मुजफ्फरपुर में 150 से अधिक बच्चों की मृत्यु की पृष्ठभूमि में आज देशभर में आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं ने मांग दिवस “और मुजफ्फरपुर नहीं सहेंगे, कुपोषण मुक्त भारत के लिए, आईसीडीएस को मजबूत बनाने, स्वतंत्रता का वादा पूरा करने” के नारे के साथ मनाया। उनके इस संघर्ष के लिए आइफा देशभर के आंगनवाड़ी कर्मचारियों को बधाई देती है। 

22 राज्यों - आंध्र प्रदेश, असम, बिहार, छत्तीसगढ़, गुजरात, हरियाणा, हिमाचल प्रदेश, जम्मू-कश्मीर, झारखंड, कर्नाटक, केरल, मध्य प्रदेश, महाराष्ट्र, पंजाब, पांडिचेरी, राजस्थान, तेलंगाना, त्रिपुरा, तमिलनाडु, उत्तराखंड, उत्तर प्रदेश और पश्चिम बंगाल के लाखों आंगनवाड़ी कर्मचारियों ने आइफा के आह्वान पर आज अखिल भारतीय मांग दिवस मनाया। नई सरकार के सत्ता में आने के बाद, यह राष्ट्रीय स्तर की पहली विरोध कार्रवाई थी, इसके अलावा बिहार की इस प्रकार की त्रासदी और स्थिति ऐसी कि बिहार सहित कई राज्यों में महीनों तक पूरक पोषाहार और वर्कर्स व हैल्पर्स के वेतन का भुगतान नहीं किया गया है- ऐसी पृष्ठभूमि में आइफा के इस आह्वान को देशभर के आंगनवाड़ी वर्कर्स व हैल्पर्स का बहुत ही उत्साहजनक प्रत्युत्तर मिला। 

देश के कई हिस्सों में भारी बारिश के बावजूद, बड़ी संख्या में आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ता और सहायिका एकत्रित हुईं। वे इसलिए भी आंदोलित हैं क्योंकि भाजपा और आरएसएस चुनाव के दौरान और सरकार बनने के बाद लगातार यह अभियान चलाती रही कि मोदी सरकार द्वारा आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं का वेतन प्रतिमाह 18000 रुपये तक बढ़ाया जाएगा। आंगनवाड़ी वर्कर्स व हैल्पर्स को इस तरह के संदेश बड़े पैमाने पर सोशल मीडिया का उपयोग करके भेजे गए। लेकिन मुजफ्फरपुर की दुखद घटना के बाद भी मोदी -2 मंत्रालय की महिला वित्त मंत्री द्वारा बहुत धूमधाम के साथ रखे गए बजट में, आईसीडीएस के आवंटन के लिए एक रुपया भी नहीं बढ़ाया गया; और तो और कई राज्यों में अभी तक आंगनवाड़ी वर्कर्स व हैल्पर्स को सितंबर 2018 में घोषित वेतन वृद्धि का भुगतान नहीं किया गया है। कई राज्य सरकारें स्कूलों में प्री-स्कूल खोल रही हैं, ताकि बच्चों को आंगनवाड़ियों से दूर ले जाया जा सके। कुछ राज्यों में पोषाहार के बदले पैसा देने और केंद्रीकृत रसोई का भी प्रयास किया जा रहा है।

पूरे देश में कार्यकर्ताओं ने जनसभा से पहले मुजफ्फरपुर में जान गंवाने वाले बच्चों को श्रद्धांजलि दी। मुजफ्फरपुर में, एक बैठक आयोजित की गई, जिसमें सैकड़ों आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं ने भाग लिया। बिहार राज्य आंगनबाड़ी सेविका सहायिका संघ के हाल ही में आयोजित सम्मेलन में निर्णय लिया गया है कि मुजफ्फरपुर में कुपोषण के खिलाफ और आईसीडीएस को मजबूत करने के लिए 14 अगस्त 2019 से ‘बच्चों को कुपोषण और बीमारी मुक्ति, बच्चों की मृत्यु- अब और नहीं’ नामक शीर्षक से  वार्षिक अभियान और गतिविधियों का आयोजन किया जाए। 

10 जुलाई की मांगें
ऽ आईसीडीएस को स्थायी बनाया जाए; आईसीडीएस के लिए बजटीय आवंटन बढ़ाया जाए
ऽ 45 वें भारतीय श्रम सम्मेलन द्वारा की गई सिफारिशों के अनुसार आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं को न्यूनतम वेतन और सामाजिक सुरक्षा लाभ तथा पेंशन दी जाए।
ऽ आईसीडीएस का किसी भी प्रकार से निजीकरण नहीं किया जाए; आईसीडीएस में कॉर्पोरेट कंपनियों या गैर सरकारी संगठनों को शामिल न किया जाए। 
ऽ आईसीडीएस को मजबूत बनाया जाए; आंगनवाड़ी को आंगनवाड़ी-सह-क्रेच में परिवर्तित किया जाए; पोषण के लिए आवंटन में वृद्धि की जाए; आईसीडीएस में पूर्वस्कूली शिक्षा को मजबूत करके उसे बनाए रखा जाए।
आईसीडीएस को मजबूत करने की मांग के साथ - साथ नियमितीकरण, न्यूनतम वेतन व पेंशन जैसी मांगों को हासिल करने के उद्देश्य से भविष्य की गतिविधियों की योजना बनाने के लिए 25-26 जुलाई 2019 को दिल्ली में आइफा कार्य समिति की बैठक होगी। 

जारीकर्ता
(ए आर सिंधु)
महासचिव

Lakhs of anganwadi workers and Helpers Protest all over the country at District headquarters

In spite of heavy rains in many parts of the country, lakhs of anganwadi workers and helpers demonstrated in front of central government offices and district headquarters to observe All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) All India Demands Day, today, 10 July 2019. AIFAWH congratulates anganwadi workers and helpers all over the country for the massive protest observed this year with the slogan “No more Muzaffarpur, For Malnutrition Free India, strengthen ICDS, Fulfil the promise of freedom” in the background of the deaths of more than 150 children in Muzaffarpur.

Lakhs of anganwadi workers from 22 states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Pondicherry, Rajasthan, Telengana, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal observed “All India Demands’ Day” at the call of AIFAWH. Being the first national level protest action after the new Government came to power, that too in the background of such a tragedy and also in a situation where the supplementary nutrition and salaries were not paid for months together in many states including Bihar, the response to the call was very encouraging.

In spite of heavy rains in many parts of the country, anganwadi workers and helpers gathered in large numbers. They are also agitated because the BJP and RSS during the election and after the government was formed has been continuously campaigning that the wages of anganwadi workers and helpers are increased to Rs.18000 per month by the Modi government. Such messages are sent to the workers using social media in a large way. But the budget placed with much fanfare by the woman finance minister of the Modi-2 ministry even in the aftermath of Muzaffarpur did not increase a single rupee for allocation of ICDS. In addition, various states are yet to pay the increase in wages announced in September 2018 to the workers. Many state governments are opening pre-schools in schools, thus taking away children from anganwadis. Direct Benefit Transfer and centralized kitchens are also being attempted in some states.

Throughout the country, the workers paid homage to the children who lost their lives in Muzaffarpur before the public meeting. In Muzaffarpur, a meeting was held in which hundreds of anganwadi workers and helpers participated. In the recently held conference of Bihar State Anganwadi Sevika Sahayika Sangh it is decided to organise a yearlong campaign and action in Muzaffarpur against malnutrition and to strengthen ICDS titled “Freedom from malnutrition and ill health, no more deaths of children” from 14 August 2019.

The Demands of 10 July

  • Make ICDS permanent; Increase the budgetary allocation for ICDS
  • Pay minimum wages and social security and pension to the anganwadi workers and helpers as recommended by 45thILC.
  • NO privatization of ICDS in any form; No involvement of corporate companies or NGOs in ICDS
  • Strengthen ICDS; convert anganwadis into anganwadi-cum-crèches; increase allocation for nutrition; strengthen and retain the pre -school education in ICDS.

AIFAWH working committee will meet on 25-26 July 2019 at Delhi to plan future activities to strengthen ICDS and to achieve demands of regularization, minimum wages and pension.

Issued by
(A R Sindhu)
General Secretary 

आइफा, देश के आधे से अधिक कुपोषित बच्चों के विकास के प्रति मोदी -2 सरकार के निर्दयी रवैये पर रोष और निराशा व्यक्त करता है। 
आईसीडीएस के लिए बजट में कोई वृद्धि नहीं की गई है, कोर आईसीडीएस सेवाओं के लिए 9834.27 करोड़ रूपए और अम्ब्रैला आईसीडीएस के लिए 27584.37 करोड़ रूपए आवंटित किए गए है। जैसा कि हमने पहले ही बताया है, बजट में आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं के बढ़े हुए पारिश्रमिक को लागू करने के लिए आवश्यक आवंटन भी नहीं किया गया है। इस वजह से अधिकांश राज्यों में बढ़ा हुआ पारिश्रमिक अभी तक लागू नहीं किया गया है।

कुपोषण के कारण बिहार के मुजफ्फरपुर में बच्चों की दुखद मौत के मद्देनजर और आंगनवाड़ियों के खराब बुनियादी ढांचे को देखते हुए, आईसीडीएस को मजबूत बनाया जाना चाहिए ताकि बजट में वृद्धि के साथ पूर्णकालिक आंगनवाड़ी सह क्रेच की स्थायी व्यवस्था की जा सके। लेकिन सरकार हमारे बच्चों के विकास के हितों की उपेक्षा कर रही है।

मोदी 2 सरकार की अमीर परस्त नीति जिसके तहत राष्ट्रीय संपत्ति के निजीकरण जैसे सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र और प्राकृतिक संसाधनों का निजीकरण, श्रम कानूनों में बदलाव आदि, इस बजट में भी परिलक्षित होती है।
पिछले कुछ हफ्तों में भाजपा समर्थक मीडिया और सोशल मीडिया द्वारा भ्रम फैलाने के लिए प्रचार किया गया था कि सरकार आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं का वेतन 18000 रू प्रति माह तक बढ़ा रही है, जिसका अब पर्दाफाश हो गया है। 

आइफा ने देश के आंगनवाड़ी कार्यकर्ताओं और सहायिकाओं से आह्वान किया कि वे आइफा मांग दिवस - 10 जुलाई 2019 को बड़ी संख्या में सड़कों पर आएं और आईसीडीएस को मजबूत बनाने की आवश्यकता पर ज़ोर दे और गरीब महिलाओं व बच्चों के प्रति मोदी सरकार के नकारात्मक रवैये के खिलाफ विरोध दर्ज करें। 
जारीकर्ता

ए आर सिंधु
महासचिव
AIFAWH

 
 

AIFAWH expresses anger and disappointment over the callous attitude of the Modi -2 government towards the development of its children of whom half are malnourished. 

There is no increase in the budget for ICDS which remains the same Rs.19834.27 crore for Core ICDS Services and Rs.27584.37 crore for Umbrella ICDS. As we have already pointed out, the budget even do not take into account the necessary allocation to implement the increased remuneration of anganwadi workers and helpers. The increased remuneration is yet to be implemented in most of the states due to this.

In view of the tragic death of children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar due to malnutrition and given the poor infrastructure of anganwadis, ICDS should be strengthened to make it a permanent system of full time anganwadi cum creche with increased budget allocation. But the government continues to neglect the interest of the development of our children.

The entire pro rich policy direction of the Modi 2 government of privatization of national assets including public sector and natural resources, change in labour laws etc is reflected in this budget as well. 

In the last few weeks there was propaganda by the pro BJP media and social media that the government is increasing the remuneration of anganwadi workers and helpers to Rs.18000 per month which created some illusion among the workers also got exposed now.

AIFAWH call upon the anganwadi workers and helpers of the country to come out in large numbers on the AIFAWH Demands’ Day 10 July 2019focusing the need to strengthen ICDS and register protest against the Modi 2 government's attitude towards poor women and children.

Issued by
A R Sindhu
General Secretary
AIFAWH

Just one month before the notification for the next Lok Sabha elections, the Modi Government announced a Pension Scheme for the unorganized sector workers, who earn less than Rs.15,000 a month, ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana’ in the interim budget and notified it via Ministry of labour and Employment Gazatte Notification dated 7th February 2019. The scheme, as per the Finance Minister “..will provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000, with a contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganised sector after 60 years of age", on closer examination turns out to be a total fraud and a deceit of the workers.

The finance minister claimed that the government will also provide a matching contribution of Rs 100 for every unorganised worker covered under the scheme and "The scheme will benefit 10 crore workers, may become the world's biggest pension scheme for the unorganised sector in five years". Later the Prime Minister announced that they are going to cover all the 42 core unorganised sector workers. But the government which allocated Rs.750 crores for cow protection in the budget had made an allocation of only Rs.500 crores to cover the 42 crore unorganized sector workers who according to the minister “produce half of the country’s GDP”!

Announcement in five years: The BJP, which had promised to “strengthen the Pension and Health Insurance safety nets for all kinds of labourers” in its election manifesto in 2014, had announced this scheme just one month before the next Lok Sabha Election. The scheme is notified under the ‘Unorganised Sector Workers’ Social Security Act 2008.’ In its five years of rule the central trade unions organized three General Strikes in which one of the major demands was for social security and pension of Rs.6000 per month for all workers. The BJP did not remember the unorganized sector workers till the elections are going to be declared. This is one of the biggest election stunts chunavi joomlas the NDA Ministry has made in the last 5 years.

Non viable for the workers: A primary examination itself reveals that the scheme has not taken care of the ground reality of the unorganised sector workers in our country. The scheme demands that a worker pay the premium of Rs.55 to Rs.200 per month regularly for a minimum of 20 years to get the pension. The 42 crore unorgansed sector workers include the agricultural workers, who get less than a hundred days of work a year. A good number of unorganized sector workers are migrant labourers who change the place of the work as well. It will not be possible for the workers to pay the premium uninterruptedly and this will end up with their money being taken over by the fund.

Exclusion of the most needy: The scheme which claims to be covering ‘all’ unorganized sector workers’ excludes nearly twenty percent of the workers who are above forty years of age! It means that the workforce above 40 years, which is the most needy section, will not be included in the scheme.

No one is going to be benefitted for the next 20 years: The exclusion of the workers above the age of 40 yrs means that no worker is going to get any benefit for the next 20 years! A worker of the age 18 years will keep paying the government for the next 42 years.

10 crore workers will pay Rs.12,000 crore annually as premium for the next 20 years; i.e, the poor rickshaw pullers, rehri patri workers (street vendors), mid day meal workers, construction workers, anganwadi workers and helpers, MNREG workers, ASHA workers will all pay the government Rs. 2,40,000 crore, in 20 years without getting a single penny back! This is nothing but making the unorganized sector workers, who even do not have any permanent income, pay the government such a huge amount which the government can utilize for financing the corporates.

If we assume even one tenth of the claim of the government is achieved, i.e., one crore workers are enrolled, they will pay Rs.1200 crores to the government in a year and Rs.24,000 crores in 20 years. The allocation for the so called matching grant by the Modi government is Rs.500 crores.

Only spouse can be the nominee: In this strange scheme designed to loot the workers, only the spouse (husband/wife) of the worker can be the nominee. It means that the workers who are single, widow or widower and if he/she dies before 60 years, the entire amount will be taken over by fund and her/his kin will not get any money. Only the spouse will either get the accumulated money or he/she can continue in the scheme.

Many women working in the unorganised sector are widows. Even if the children of the worker who dies (even in an accident) are minors, they will not get a single paisa.
In case of accident and permanent disability of a worker, either his/her spouse can continue or he/she can get back whatever amount paid by him/her only. There is no provision for any other benefit. In many schemes of the LIC, there are much better provisions.

Assured pension, Rs.3000 per month: The government declared that the workers will get a monthly pension of Rs.3000 per month. But even for the organized sector workers in EPF, the guaranteed pension is only Rs.1000 pm (That too very recently). Given the track record of the government of India, one cannot believe that this promise can be fulfilled. Even if this promise is fulfilled, the value of Rs. 3000 after 20 years, if we consider inflation, will be less than Rs.1000 whereas the demand of the trade union movement is monthly pension of minimum Rs.6000 for all workers at the present price level. The much touted pension scheme does not consciously have any provision for indexation of the pension amount.

Workers at loss as per interest calculation: There are some startling statistics about the loot of the workers through this scheme. According to National Herald daily, the calculation goes like this: A person at the age of 18 joining the scheme will pay Rs.55 per month, with the government’s contribution, it will be Rs.110 per month. He/she has to pay the amount for 42 years (till the age of 60 years). If this is remitted to a recurring deposit, the return after 42 years will be Rs.5,76,315! If we put this amount in fixed deposit the monthly interest will be Rs.5042! It means the worker will lose Rs.2042 per month as well as the principal amount of Rs.5,76,315.

If we go by the rates in any commercial bank in India, in 42 years, the accumulated amount through this recurring deposit scheme will be Rs.4,48,922 and its monthly interest will be Rs.3367! So, the monthly loss will be Rs.337 and in addition one will lose the accumulated Rs.4,48,922!

Scheme Workers: The government is frantically pushing for enrolment of the anganwadi workers, helpers, ASHA workers and even MNREGA workers (who get jobs for less than 100 days a year in a family) etc. Although neither in the budget speech nor in the notification were these sections included and neither have the Central Ministries issued letters to the states in this regard.

The Government claims in that in ten days more than 14 lakh workers are enrolled. The scheme necessitates linking of your bank account. The anganwadi workers, helpers, ASHA workers, Mid Day Meal workers all have bank accounts and the money can be deducted from their account. So the government is pushing to include them so that there will be regular payment.

In Pondicherry, where the anganwadi workers and helpers get a salary more than Rs.15,000 per month, but have no pension, cannot join this scheme. In states like Kerala, Haryana, Telangana, AP etc anganwadi workers are getting around Rs.12,000 a month, and have promises of increase, will be excluded from the scheme once they get Rs.15000 per month.

No need to pay back much: The life expectancy of Indian population is around 68 years. It will definitely be much less for the unorganized sector workers and may be 65 years or less. Experience shows that the malnourished, hungry worker will not even live up to 60 years. The workers who do not have a regular income will find it difficult to pay the premium. So all those money will go to the Fund.

EPF, ESI or Comprehensive social security scheme
If the intention of the government is good, why can’t it include the unorganized sector workers in the EPF and ESI Schemes or introduce such schemes, which had benefitted crores of workers and earned wide acceptability and credibility.

The EPF is having provisions of loan and pension, partial withdrawal and the accumulated amount belongs to the worker and his/her nominee. This government which declared the pension scheme for unorganized sector workers just one month before elections is not concerned that even the social security schemes like EPF and ESI cover even less than 50% of the workers who are legally entitled and has no programme for the enrolment. The government instead is now paying the share of the employers but not that of the employees in the EPF in the name of new employment under the Prime Minister Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY)! While the allocation for this scheme is a mere Rs.500 crore, the government had already paid more than Rs.3648 crores for the employers’ contribution to EPFO.

Moreover, there are reports that a considerable amount of the workers in the EPFO which was invested in the share market in tradable bonds in IL&FS Investor Company, in spite of the opposition of the workers’ representatives in the board, is totally lost with the company going bankrupt. The government is not coming out with any clarification. The fund accumulating in the PMSYM scheme also is at the same risk.

The need of the hour is a fully government funded comprehensive social security scheme ensuring health care including maternity, accident protection, superannuation for pension, children’s education etc for all other sections of working people including agricultural workers and peasants, with a token contribution just to facilitate enrolment.

A R Sindhu

Fourty lakh signatures submitted to the Ministry of WCD

Hundreds of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers from all over the country under the leadership of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) marched to Parliament today, on 25 February 2019. The March, organized in protest against the anti workers attitude of the BJP government, started at 12 noon from Mandi House. The March was led by Tapan Sen, General Secretary, K Hemalata, President, CITU, A R Sindhu General Secretary, Usharani President, AIFAWH and various state leaders.

A delegation met the Secretary, WCD and submitted nearly 40 lakh signatures collected on the demands of strengthening the ICDS and improving the working conditions of anganwadi workers and Helpers to the ministry.

Along with the long pending basic demands of regularization, minimum wages Rs.18000 per month and pension Rs.6000 per month, the immediate issues of introduction of Direct Cash transfer in ICDS, non implementation of the existing benefits for both workers and beneficiaries etc were raised.

The announcement of increase in remuneration with much fanfare by the Prime Minister is yet to be implemented in most parts of the country. Moreover, the amount allocated to ICDS in the interim budget is not adequate to cover the cost of additional remuneration.

The March declared that it will take the issues of institutionalization of ICDS with full facilities as the right of the children for food, health and education and the rights of the workers for minimum wages and pension to the people and will work for a change in the anti people policies. AIFAWH will ensure the defeat of the communal anti ICDS, anti labour BJP government in the coming Parliament elections.

Issued by
A R Sindhu

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