Wednesday, 28 June 2017

SAVE ICDS

WCD Minister Smt. Maneka Gandhi must apologise for false propaganda
Implement the Recommendations of the 45th ILC

AIFAWH will observe “Black Day” on 11 July 2016
And will join the General Strike on 2nd September 2016


AIFAWH strongly condemns the hoax by the Ministry of WCD and its minister Smt maneka Gandhi on the service conditions of 27 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers in the country. We demand that the Minister apologise to the anganwadi workers and helpers for the continuous misinformation campaign.

The ministry press release on 22nd June 2016 says
“The Ministry of Women and Child Development has provided several facilities and incentives to the Anganwadi Workers to improve their conditions of service. The Anganwadi Workers have been provided an insurance cover under Anganwadi Karyakartri Bima Yojana. The annual premium for this is Rs.280/- out of which Rs.100/- is paid by the Central Government, Rs.100/- is paid by the Ministry of Finance and Rs.80/-, which is supposed to be paid by the Anganwadi Workers, has been waived off. The Anganwadi Worker is also provided 180 days of maternity leave. She is also sanctioned two saris as uniform every year. Scholarship benefit is also provided to the Anganwadi Workers @ Rs. 300/- per quarter for their children studying in classes 9th to 12th. In order to improve their career prospects, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has ordered that 50% of the posts of Supervisors should be reserved for the Anganwadi Workers. Anganwadi Workers with 10 years of experience are eligible for appointment as Supervisor against this 50% quota.”

Many National and vernacular media had given the news very prominently. The reader will think that these are all new initiatives of the NDA government. This is nothing less than a fraud on the poorly paid grass root workers who implement the most crucial scheme ensuring the healthy future of the country.

The Anganwadi Karyakarti Bima Yojana which gives insurance coverage to the anganwadi workers and helpers and a scholarship of Rs.300 a quarter for two children had started in 2004 and the workers’ contribution had been waived off since 2008.The anganwadi workers and helpers are entitled to get two pairs of uniform since 2009. The maternity benefits have been increased from 135 days to 180 days in 2010. Since its inception, there was a provision of 25% reservation to the anganwadi workers to the post of supervisors. In 1995 government made it mandatory. In September 2015 it has been increased to 50%.

As of the claim of the NDA government and Smt Maneka Gandhi, the only thing her ministry had done is increasing the reservations to the post of supervisors from 25% to 50%. But she may not be aware of the fact that in many states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab etc. they are already getting a reservation of 90-100%. And for her kind information, the total number of vacancies to the post of supervisors as on March 2014 is only 14,673.

In spite of the election promise of “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's” in the election Manifesto, the BJP government has done nothing to improve the working conditions of the 27 lakh anganwadi workers. Instead the Modi government had drastically cut down the allocation to this crucial scheme which ensures right to food for 8crore children and 1.8crore lactating mothers and pregnant women. In 2015-16 the budget had been cut from the previous Rs.18,108 crores to Rs.8284crores. This year it had cut down Rs.1500 crores from the last year’s spent amount.Further, in the name of lack of funds the government is privatizing the schemes by bringing in Big MNCs like the Vedanta Company whose tax arrears amounts to thousands of crores. The unanaimous recommendation of the 45th Indian Labour conference to recognise the anganwadi workers and helpers as employees, give them minimum wages and pension and other social security benefits are totally negated.

Furthermore, the media has been reporting since last ten days about the announcement of the WCD Minister Smt. Maneka Gandhi that “the NDA government has issued orders recognising anganwadi workers with ten years of experience as government employees.” Major Hindi dailies and some News channels have aired the news last week. The office of the Secretary WCD told us that there is no such proposal from the ministry to the government to make the anganwadi workers government employees.
AIFAWH considers that the continuous misinformation campaign by Smt maneka Gandhi and her ministry is to misguide the anganwadi workers and helpers and their mounting discontent against the Modi government which was seen in the historic mobilisation of anganwadi workers and helpers on 15 February 2016.

We demand that Smt Maneka Gandhi must apologise to the anganwadi workers and helpers for the false propaganda and take initiative to implement the BJP’s election promises and the recommendations of the 45th ILC.

AIFAWH calls upon all its state unions and the 27 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers to protest against government’s attitude and observe “Black Day” on 11 July 2016 by organising district level mobilisations throughout the country. We call upon the anganwadi employees to join enmasse in the General Strike called by the Central Trade Unions on 2nd September 2016.

Issued by

A. R. Sindhu
General Secretary