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...

AIFAWH will burn the effigies of NDA government throughout the country on 2nd February 2018

The election manifesto of the BJP for the 2014 Parliament elections say that if came to power it will “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's”. The last full budget of the NDA government is the proof of not only the breaking of its promise but also of the criminal neglect of India’s eight crore malnourished children and two crore pregnant mothers. Since 2011 the remuneration of the anganwadi employees had not been increased whereas the working hours had been increased to make it full time. (At present the Government of India pays Rs.1800 for workers and Rs.900 for anganwadi helpers per month)

According to the ministry of WCD, 75 lakh new born children die every year in India before completing six months. In this situation, the only scheme which guarantees holistic development of the children under six in India, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme need to be strengthened. The Supreme Court directive and the Right to Food Act guarantee this. But the Modi led NDA government had continuously cut down the budget allocation to this crucial scheme which ensure right to food, education and health to the children and maternity entitlement to the mothers. In his first budget he has cut down the budget from Rs.18108 crores(2014-15) to Rs.8400crores (2015-16), which the government was forced to increase due to struggles by the workers and helpers.

Continuous struggles by the anganwadi workers and helpers at various levels forced the government not to further cut down the allocation. The allocation for ICDS this year is Rs.16, 334.88 crores where as it was 15,425.19 crores last year. This allocation is grossly inadequate to even cover the increased cost norms for the supplementary nutrition declared by the Ministry in September 2017. (According the ministry, the additional expenditure for the nutrition is nearly Rs.10000crores in ICDS for three years.). IN many states the supplementary nutrition is not supplied since last six months.

Modi government which had been making false claim on increasing maternity benefits has cut down the already inadequate allocation for Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana by Rs.300 crores in this budget.

Even the all India Strike by the scheme workers on 17 January 2018 in which nearly sixty lakh workers participated could not make this pro corporate NDA government sensitive to the cause of workers and the poor and marginalized people. The government is going ahead with direct benefit transfer in place of services in anganwadi centres and packaged food by the multinationals. We warn the government that it has to pay heavy price in the coming elections if they are not ready to mend their ways.

The demands for implementation of recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference to recognise the scheme workers including anganwadi workers and helpers as employees, give them minimum wages and pension and other social security benefits are again negated.

AIFAWH calls upon all the state unions and anganwadi workers and helpers to protest against government’s anti worker policies by organising protest demonstrations and actions including burning of effigy, all over the country on 2nd February 2017, along with other workers as per the call of central trade unions.

AIFAWH will plan further struggles including strike and indefinite Padav in Delhi in consultation with other trade unions. AIFAWH calls upon the anganwadi employees to be prepared for militant struggles till our demands are met and reach out to the people of the country for support to the struggles to Save ICDS.

Issued by
A. R. Sindhu,
General Secretary
AIFAWH

The Punjab police unleashed a barbaric midnight attack on the anganwadi employees who were sleeping at the place of ‘mahapadav’ in Patiala in Punjab.

Thousands of anganwadi employees were on a peaceful protest against the indiscriminate opening of pre primary sections in government schools and the Direct Cash Transfer initiated by the Punjab government, as decided by the Government of India. These would ultimately lead to the closure of the anganwadi centres and sound the death knell for ICDS. The Anganwadi Mulajam Union, Punjab had given the call for a ‘mahapadav’ in Patiala against these measures, when repeated appeals to the government failed. The chief minister even went back on his promise to meet the union representatives.

The programme received overwhelming response from the anganwadi employees. Around ten thousand anganwadi employees were participating in the mahapadav from all over the state. They were all sleeping when the police, without any notice, used water cannon at midnight and started lathi charge on them. Many anganwadi employees including Usha Rani, president of AIFAWH were injured. Usha Rani and several other leaders of the union were arrested and taken into custody.

AIFAWH strongly condemns this cowardly act of the Punjab government which infringes upon the democratic rights of the people and demands immediate release of the arrested union leaders. We demand that the government should reverse its decision for Direct Cash Transfer and opening of nursery sections in the government schools. The chief minister should immediately call the union leadership for talks and settle their issues amicably through discussions.

AIFAWH calls upon all its state committees throughout the country to protest against this move and write to the Punjab CM demanding a dialogue with the union.

 Issued by
A R Sindhu
General Secretary

STOP MISLEADING THE PEOPLE;
CLARIFY THE STEPS BY THE MINISTRY OF WCD
STOP THE PROPOSALS FOR DBT/CCT AND PACKAGED FOOD IN ICDS

The Ministry of WCD on 12 October 2017 issued a statement that the There is no proposal to discontinue Supplementary Nutrition Program under ICDS and replace it with Conditional Cash Transfer”. The statement says There have been reports in the Media that the Ministry of Women and Child Development is contemplating to dismantle the supplementary nutrition component of the ICDS programme and replace it with conditional cash transfer. It is pointed out that these reports are not based on correct factual position”(underline added)

The media reports which appeared in most of the National dailies on 20th September 2017 contained two statements from the Ministry of WCD – first one quoted the Minister for WCD Smt. Maneka Gandhi addressing a meeting of officials from 130 districts on 19 September 2017. As per the reports she said that “our delivery system has always been dependent on anganwadis. Anganwadi stopped being an effective delivery system 20 years ago.” So, the minister reportedly suggested that nutrient packages should be delivered through post offices. “Thirty packages can be delivered through the post office to every family that has a baby and a pregnant mother. Since it is not vegetable or rice, it cannot be misused or sold in the market,” she said.

Secondly the media reported media briefing by Shri. Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, WCD Ministry that the Centre is considering cash transfers under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) instead of take home rations for children under three and pregnant and lactating mothers in Anganwadis. He is quoted “DBT (direct benefits transfer) is being considered in the Ministry (Women & Child Development), and a decision will be taken soon.”

The news report quotes a ministry official says “In the first phase, we will cover 300 of the most backward districts where, as per data, the extent of malnutrition and stunting of children is the highest. This will be followed by the remaining districts a year later.”

Based on the above statements and also on various other statements and documents by the ministry, various organisations, activists and concerned individuals has given representations issued statements and organised protests against these moves.

All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers has always been opposed to the replacement of freshly cooked locally available food to be served in anganwadi centres as envisaged in the very basic design of anganwadis to combat malnutrition with either packaged food or with cash transfer.

AIFAWH had organised protests throughout the country on 22/23 September 2017 itself against these proposals by the ministry and submitted memorandums to the concerned governments. In many places of the country various programmes are continuing. Many other organisations and movements have also represented to the ministry as per reports. That may be the reason behind the clarification by the ministry which came as a Press Information Bureau release dated 12 October 2017.

But simply saying that “There is no proposal to discontinue the supplementary nutrition programme under ICDS and replace it with conditional cash transfer. The reports appearing in the Media therefore are factually incorrect” will not be enough. The people of the country would like to have some clarifications from the Ministry.First of all, the Ministry has not denied the reported statements by the WCD Minister Smt. Maneka Gandhi or the Secretary Shri. Rakesh Shrivastava. It has to clarify whether they deny these statements or must explain what the minister and secretary meant by these statements.

Secondly, the Ministry in its statement made to clarify regarding same cash transfer and linking of Aadhar, issued on 9th  March 2017 states that “There have also been complaints about the quality of Take Home Rations (THR). Therefore, the Government is considering ways to improve the system and to make it more transparent. It is also exploring the possibility of Conditional Cash Transfer in lieu of THR in select districts as a pilot as one of the options. However, a final decision is yet to be taken in this regard.”

The Ministry shall clarify what is the result of its “exploration” and what is the “final decision” regarding this and who is taking that decision. If on 9th March 2017 the Ministry says the decisions on the Pilot projects are yet to be taken, how come the Ministry in its letter no F No.19/10/2016-WBP dated 5th January 2017, directed the Governments of Delhi, Uttarakhand and Odisha to immediately start implementing the pilot innovation projects under ISSNIP replacing THR with Conditional Cash Transfer?(Copy enclosed).

The Ministry has to clarify that whether they have directed other states as well to implement pilot projects replacing THR with cash transfer. In many states like West Bengal, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar etc, the state departments are directing the anganwadi workers to link the beneficiaries’ Aadhar number with their parents’ bank accounts for cash transfer. Moreover, it is not clear from any of the ministry’s statements that whether they are implementing a direct benefit transfer or conditional cash transfer.

It was always been a tactics by the ruling classes to give different opinions at the same time (here different statements by different officials/ ministers) to mislead the people. AIFAWH demand that the ministry declare that it will not implement DBT/CCT or packaged food in place of freshly cooked food in anganwadis.

AIFAWH calls upon the affiliated unions and the anganwadi workers and helpers to intensify the campaign and struggles for strengthening the ICDS and for the rights of the anganwadi workers and helpers.

A R Sindhu
General Secretary

All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) strongly condemn the MOU signed between the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Cairn India Ltd , a subsidiary of the Multinational ‘Vedanta’ to “to develop and modernise 4000 next generation Anganwadis in the country” as per the PIB release.

 This is nothing but withdrawal of government of India from its responsibility of providing the childrens’ right to food, health and education and an effort to leave it to the charity of the corporate and big business.AIFAWH demands that the MWCD, Governemnt of India must withdraw the move to privatise the anganwadi centres by handing over it to the corporate and cancel the MOU.

In the Union budget 2015-16 government has changed the funding pattern, putting the entire responsibility of running the scheme to the state government. The Government of India had drastically cut down the budget allocation for ICDS to mere Rs.8335.77 in 2015-16 from Rs. 18,195 crores last year. This cut comes in spite the proposed allocation as per Planning Commission in the 12th Plan for ICDS was Rs.23,025 crores.

The lack of funds started affecting the scheme in the states and in the states like Bihar, Punjab UP etc, the nutrition is not being supplied since 4-5 months. Anganwadi employees are not being paid wages in states like Maharashtra since April 2015. In the name of lack of funds the government is handing over the anganwadi centres to corporates and corporate NGOs like Vedanta, JP Cements, Nandi Foundation, ISKON etc through PPP, ‘adoption’ etc

The anganwadi centers extend most crucial services of nutrition healthcare and  pre-school education for the under six children and nutrition and healthcare to pregnant women and lactating mothers. With the inclusion of ICDS in Right to Food Act and the public demand to arrest alarming levels of malnutrition in the country, the services in ICDS has been made full time (six hours) since 2012, even though the wages of the employees were not increased. The government of India also, in  its declarations, have committed to convert anganwadi centers to full time anganwadi cum crèches. Now, according to PIB release, these “new generation anganwadi centers”  are “proposed to be run as a shared space in which 50% of the time will be devoted to children’s education and the remaining half will support women’s skill development.” This move to handover the anganwadi centers to the whims and fancies of the corporate which have already declared that they will depute anganwadi workers in skill development of women, will sabotage the very functioning of anganwadi centers. This is providing government infrastructure to prepare rural women as the cheapest labour for the “Corporate Make India” plan.

It is also not made clear by the govt of India, which  refused to implement recommendations of 45th the Indian Labour Conference for regularisation, minimum wages and social security of the anganwadi workers and helpers, that how they will make already overburdened anagnwadi workers do along with the another full time work along with their present tasks. The company is changing the name of the most popular ‘ anganwadi centres’ to ‘Nand Ghar’ in some places, which needs to be opposed.

One another aspect which needs further investigation its recently aquired subsidiary investigation is the propriety in having an agreement with company such as Vedanta and Cairn India which is having dubious credentials. There are reports that the Income tax department has issued a notice to Cairn India for withholding tax on Capital gains made by it to the tune of Rs.20,495 crores. Reports says that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board has not yet given their approval to  the merger of Cairn India with Vedanta. We apprehend high level corporate corruption involved in giving credibility to such company by signing an agreement which may help them in tax evasions or concessions.

AIFAWH demands the immediate withdrawal of such an agreement which is aimed at image building and tax evasion of corporate companies at the expense of the future of our children.

AIFAWH calls upon its affiliated unions and the anganwadi workers and helpers to resist tooth and nail the Corporate Company Raj in Anganwadis. We  appeal to the beneficiaries’ organizations such as trade unions, women, peasant and agricultureal workers’ organizations to come out in defence of ICDS and resist the corporate takeover at the ground level.

Issued by
A R Sindhu
General Secretary

Against Privatisation of ICDS and cutting down of benefits by Modi Government

For recognition as Workers, Minimum Wage and Pension

All India federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) congratulates anganwadi workers and helpers all over the country for the magnificent success of the observance of “All India Demands’ Day” on 10th July 2017.

As per the reports received so far, more than six lakh anganwadi workers from 24 states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telengana, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal - observed “All Idnia Demands’ Day” on 10 July 2017 at district head quarters at the call of AIFAWH.

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. But even in Srinagar, anganwadi workers and helpers demonstrated for their demands. In Assam, in spite of heavy rain and floods, hundreds of anganwadi workers and helpers assembled in various districts. There were arrests in many places in the country.



AIFAWH Demand’s Day which falls on 10th July, this year was marked by the expression of anger over the Modi government’s agreement with corporate company “Vedanta’ to use anganwadi centres for its skill development and the withdrawal of Anganwadi Karyakarti Bima Yojana’ the only social security available to the anganwadi workers and helpers.

The government which came to power promising “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's” is clearly announced that “we will not increase their remuneration”. The recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference to recognize 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 show of strength and protest. AIFAWH calls upon the anganwadi workers and helpers to be prepared for higher forms of struggles including indefinite ‘sit in’(padav) in Delhi in the coming days. AIFAWH appeals to the class and mass organisations of various sections and people at large to support our fight for the childrens’ right for food, health and education and to Save ICDS.

Issued by

A. R. Sindhu
General Secretary

Defend the Benefits! Counter the Attack!
Advance for the Rights!

Dear sisters,

We are on continuous struggles for our rights and for strengthening of ICDS since its inception. But in the last three years of the NDA government which had promised ‘ache din’ for anganwadi workers and helpers too, we are facing an unprecedented situation. The Modi government is moving fast to dismantle the scheme by budget cut and privatisation.

Along with our demands of recognition as employees, minimum wages, pension and social security, AIFAWH has been continuously raising the demands of institutionalisation of ICDS, adequate budget allocation for proper infrastructure and full nutrition and proper pre school training in the anganwadi centres. It is high time to achieve the vision at the time of starting of ICDS, to develop the anganwadi as a full childcare centre with all facilities required. The work of the grass root functionaries, the anganwadi workers and helpers must be recognised.

In many states, our unions led militant struggles to victory in achieving an increase in remuneration and some other benefits. In the last one year, we could achieve this in eight states. While it has to build our confidence and guide our future struggles, we have to understand the threat to ICDS and simultaneously focus on the struggle to save the Scheme itself.

Cut the budget, starve the scheme, privatise it or wind it up!

Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister who had cut down the budget for ICDS by around 60% in his first full budget. Even though our pressure had made him reinstate it to some extent, even the Budget allocation for the ICDS (core) in 2017-18 is only Rs.15245.19crores is less by around Rs.1500 crores than the allocation in 2014-15.

From this year the Prime Minister’s Office is directly controlling the allocations, insisting that it will give the allocation only in proportion to the spending by the states. This mean that , if due to any bureaucratic delay, the concerned state did not send the utility certificate on time, there will be more cut in the budgets which will ultimately lead to the closing of the scheme.

Make the scheme ineffective and privatise
Due to the budget cut made in 2015-16, the functioning of the ICDS had been affected. In most of the states, the wages are not paid for upto six months. Since the allocation for the supplementary nutrition is also pending, the anganwadi workers are forced to pay out of their pockets or borrow the necessary items from the local shopkeepers for 3-8 months. Wherever the workers could not do this, there is no supply of nutrition t the children. This is in spite of the statutory requirement of Right to Food Act.
Once the centres have become non functional, in the name of that, the governments are moving for privatisation of the scheme. Big corporate houses are invited to “adopt’ anganwadi centres. Anganwadi workers are asked to find resources ‘from the civil society’ or to ‘find sponsors’ for the scheme. The Minister for Women and Child Development Smt Maneka Gandhi stated that ‘anganwadi centres shall generate some income’.

Take home ration as a business
The minister also wants to ‘involve people like Baba Ramdev and companies like Pepsico in providing ready made food in ICDS’. This has become the new business, by many state governments, in spite of the Supreme Court order to supply freshly cooked food and to avoid contractors in ICDS. In Maharashtra, the WCD Minister of BJP who is infamous in Rs.200 crore ‘Chikki’ scam in 2015 has now had ordered for Rs.100 crores worth ready to eat packaged food through contractors!

Direct cash transfer
The Minsitry is trying to replace the scheme with direct cash transfers. On the universal basic income(UBI) which is proposed before the budget, the Finance Minister states that it is to replace all subsidies and all welfare schemes including ICDS. The ministry stated that it is “also exploring the possibility of Conditional Cash Transfer in lieu of THR in select districts as a pilot as one of the options.”

‘Mahila Shakti Kendra’- Not Women’s empowerment but corporate takeover of the scheme
The Ministry has already signed an agreement with the Corporate ‘Vedanta’ Company (which by the way is a tax defaulter to the tune of Rs.20,495 crores) for building 4000 anganwadi centres for Rs.400 crores and to utilise half of the time of the centres for skill development. The anganwadi centres’ all of which are meant to be developed as anganwadi cum crèches shall not be utilised for any other purpose.

But the budget this year proposes to develop all the anganwadi centres as “Mahila Shakti Kendras’ for skill development of the rural women! This means nothing but corporate take over of anganwadis to convert them as their outlets.

Now attack on our benefits – AKBY withdrawn
It is shocking that the Ministry has decided to stop the only social security available for the anganwadi workers and helpers provided by it, the Anganwadi Karyakarti Bima Yojana (AKBY) for the majority of workers. Instead, the workers in the age group of 18-50 years are to enroll with Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) which are only life insurance schemes( Rs. One lakh and Rs.2 lakhs at the time of death only), where as AKBY in addition to the life insurance, covers female critical illness (cancers) and Siksha Sahayog – scholarship of Rs.300 per quarter for the children studying in 9th to 12th standard. This is when we were demanding the AKBY must cover for all types of cancers and also kidney diseases.

Truth of PF and ESI for anganwadi workers and helpers
At the same there is a big propaganda by the Modi Government and their blind follower trade unions also that the government has introduced EPF for anganwadi workers and helpers and ASHA and MDM workers. But the fact is that the government and even the WCD Ministry are not ready to accept the proposals of EPFO because they don’t want to acknowledge us as workers!

In the proposed scheme, the workers will be made to pay 10% of their meagre wage. Similar is the case of ESI. The workers have to pay up to Rs.250 per month, for only limited benefits which do not include hospitalization! Moreover, now the future of the EPFO and ESIC itself are in danger, since the government is proposing to do away with the EPF Act itself. Now, the workers are forced by the authorities to join the Atal Pension Yojana (which is same as Swavalamban) which will be only applicable to workers up to the age of 40years and it has no guaranteed benefit.

All other issues pending
All other demands which were raised by us are also yet to be considered. As per the ministry, there are 114289 vacancies of anganwadi workers and 122190 vacancies of helper existing in the country to be filled. Instead the governments are going ahead with mergers of anganwadi centres and closing down tem in the name of starting pre primary centres in schools. The Mini anganwadi workers perform all duties of a regular anganwadi worker, alone. But in spite of repeated assurances, the government is not even ready to pay them on par with the regular anganwadi worker.
We must realize that all the problems we face are due to the anti people anti worker policies of this government. These are the same policies for which the peasants are not getting remunerative prices and are compelled to commit suicide. Now the people including the peasantry like the working class are coming out on streets against these policies.

Repression against unions
On 26 May 2017, anganwadi workers and helpers throughout the country observed ‘dhoka diwas’ on the third anniversary of Modi government by burning the BJP election manifest with false promise of wage increase to anganwadi workers and helpers. BJP led governments in the fear of getting exposed among the people are now trying to prevent our trade union activites. Haryana government issued an order for terminating “the anganwadi workers and helpers who participate in dharna, rally, demonstration or strike on their demands” Our union has reacted by taking out demonstrations and burning the copies of the order.

Intensify the struggles
In this background it is very important for us to show our strength of protest to the Modi government and various anti worker state governments. AIFWH will observe our all India demand’s day on 10 July this year with militant programmes and demonstrations at district level.

Comrades,
Come out on streets! Defend the Benefits!
Counter the Attack! Advance for the Rights!

AIFAWH Working Committee has decided to observe 26 May 2017 as “Dhoka Diwas”, “Cheating Day”. On that day Narendra Modi Government is observing its third anniversary.

This BJP led NDA government came to power with majority to a single party after a long gap. It got the majority on the big media propaganda of its promise of ‘achche din’, good days. People who were fed up with the policies of the congress led UPA government under which lakhs of farmers were forced to commit suicide, workers lost jobs, agricultural labourers forced to flee from their homes voted it out.



The anganwadi workers and helpers where agitated under the UPA rule which refused to recognize them as workers, pay them minimum wages or pension. Moreover, the UPA government brought the ICDS into ‘Mission’ mode which was aimed at total privatization of the scheme. The anger against the UPA regime and the promise of ‘achche din’ and media hype got the BJP into power in May 2014.

But three years of Modi led NDA government has proved to be worse than UPA, following the same policies in increased vigor. Farmers suicide, migration, unemployment, price rise, atrocities against women and children, labour law violations .. all are continuing. Modi government in continuation to the UPA policies is selling out profit making public sector units and national assets, giving increased tax relaxation to corporate, changing the hard earned labour laws in favour of the employers and so on.

It is strongly objecting to the recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference to recognise the ‘scheme workers including anganwadi workers and helpers as workers, to pay them minimum wages and provide social security and pension.

Narendra Modi became the first and only one Prime Minister of India who cut down the budget of ICDS to half in his first full budget in 2015-16. From Rs.18108 crores (Budget Estimate)in 2014-15 to a mere Rs.8245.77crores. Later on our struggles forced the government to increase the budget through supplementary grants. But in 2016-17 and 2017-18 also the budget allocations are half of that of the Planning Commission allocation for ICDS.

On Page 22 of the Manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, BJP promises to “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's.” But, the Minister for WCD clearly told in the Parliament that it is not possible for her to increase the remuneration of anganwadi workers and helpers.

ICDS is in crisis in many states due to resource crunch due to the budget cut. In many states large scale privatisation is going on in ICDS.

In this background AIFAWH has decided to observe the third anniversary of Modi government as “Dhoka Diwas”. Please find enclosed the election Manifesto of BJP for Parliament elections 2014.

We call upon the anganwadi workers and helpers throughout the country to burn the copy of the BJP election manifesto as the symbol of the false promises, at project level on that day.


Issued by

A R Sindhu
General Secretary

Anganwadi workers and helpers will organise protest all over the country on 2nd February 2017
Once again Arun Jaitely and Narendra Modi led NDA government had cheated the women and children of the country and the anganwadi workers and helpers. Budget 2017-18, like the previous budgets by the same ministry had criminally neglected India’s eight crore malnourished children under six and two crore pregnant women and lactating mothers by not increasing the allocation for the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. The Budget estimates for the ICDS (core) 2017-18 is only Rs.15245.19crores. It is even less than the Budget allocation for ICDS in 2015-16 which was Rs.15433.09 crores and Rs.18108 cores in 2014-15. It is only half of the 12th Plan allocation for ICDS for the year 2017-18 which is Rs.30,025 crores.
Deceitful statement on ‘Women and Child Development’: The finance Minister in his budget speech has given a misleading statement on the increased allocation for Women and child development.
The budget boasts about the much promoted Prime Minister’s announcement of the maternity benefit of Rs. 6,000 to the pregnant women. This was nothing new but included in the Right to Food Act. But ironically the amount earmarked for the Maternity Benefit programme is a mere Rs.2700 crore which will cover only 17% of the 2.6core live child births per year in India. Concealing these facts the finance Minister claims to increase the budget estimates for women and children.
Not Women’s empowerment but corporate takeover of the scheme. A dangerous move made in the budget is the announcement by the Finance Minister to set up ‘Mahila Shakti Kendra’ in the anganwadi centres. This is nothing but the government succumbing to the corporate agenda handing over the anganwadi centres to the disposal of the corporates. The Corporate ‘Vedanta’ Company proposed to utilise half of the time of the anganwadi centres for skill development after an agreement with the Ministry of WCD. After the opposition by AIFAWH, the WCD Ministry had assured that the anganwadi centres’ which are meant to be developed as anganwadi cum crèches shall not be utilized for any other purpose. But the budget had extended it to all the centres with a meager allocation of Rs.500crores and no clarity on who will be giving the training and how much time and space is necessary. With the present situation with half of the anganwadi centres do not even having basic facilities such as drinking water or own building, we apprehend the basic services will be affected. Moreover as being practiced, the burden of the extra work will also come to the anganwadi workers.
Dangerous move for Direct Cash transfers: Although in this budget, which came a few days before the assembly elections in five states, there are no direct proposals for direct cash transfers in place of schemes like ICDS, the economic survey sets the direction for direct cash transfer in the name of the Universal Basic Income Scheme. In many states like Telengana, they have started direct cash transfers on an experiment basis, in place of ICDS.
The demands for implementation of recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference to recognise the scheme workers including anganwadi workers and helpers as employees, give them minimum wages and pension and other social security benefits are again negated. Since 2011 the remuneration of the anganwadi employees had not been increased whereas the working hours had been increased to make it full time.
AIFAWH calls upon all the state unions and anganwadi workers and helpers to protest against government’s attitude and remind them of their election promise of “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's” by organising protest demonstrations and actions including burning of effigy, all over the country on 2nd February 2017, along with other scheme workers. It calls upon the anganwadi employees to be prepared for militant struggles till our demands are met and reach out to the people of the country for support to the struggles to Save ICDS.

Anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHA workers and Mid Day Meal workers organised a March to Parliament today at 3pm and burnt the effigy of the Prime minister.

Issued by

A. R. Sindhu
General Secretary

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