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...

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

Anganwadi workers and Helpers reaffirm the resolve to join the General Strike on 2nd September 2016

Thwart the efforts of the Government to mislead the workers through false propaganda and foil the strike!
The Samyukta Morcha of Anganwadi Employees Federations had issued a strike notice to the Government of India, on 1st August 2016 to join the 2nd September 2016 General Strike call given by the Central trade unions on our long pending demands. Preparation for the strike is going on in full swing throughout the country.

Along with the long pending demands of regularization, minimum wages and social security, the anganwadi employees are raising the demand to stop the large scale privatization of ICDS by the Modi government. There is tremendous discontent and anger among the anganwadi workers and helpers throughout the country against the Narendra Modi government which had drastically cut down the budget allocation for the ICDS scheme and handing over it to corporates like Vedanta. This strike is going to be a grand success with the largest ever participation of anganwadi workers and helpers.

Obviously annoyed by this, the Modi government, since last few months has been resorting to a misinformation campaign to mislead the anganwadi workers and helpers as well as the other scheme workers. The latest such hoax being the campaign by the ministry that the government decided to give some benefits to the anganwadi workers and other scheme workers.

What is the reality?

Till date there is no promise or move by the government of India on the basic issues of Scheme workers - recognition as workers, minimum wages and pension.

The only offer in the very badly drafted letter by the Minister for Labour and Employment, received by the CITU on 26 August 2016 is “a comprehensive medical scheme for volunteers of various schemes, rikshaw pullers/auto drivers, domestic workers and other construction workers in unorganized sector under ESI is being framed”. Last year also, just before the strike the government had made such a promise.

In reality the recent ESIC proposal is to cover the scheme workers viz., anganwadi and mid-day-meal workers, ASHAs etc to provide limited benefit on payment of Rs.250/- per month which means 8.33% of the paltry honorarium of anganwadi workers, 16% for the helpers and 25% for the mid-day-meal workers. Whereas for other workers covered under ESI Act, the contribution is only 1.75% of their monthly wages for full ESI benefits. Can the anganwadi employees and other scheme workers afford such high burden of contribution out of their paltry honorarium ranging from Rs 1000/- to Rs 3000/-, and that also for the “limited” service? The irony is that as of today, in 271 districts in the country, there are no ESI dispensaries/hospitals. This in turn is the plan to take away the money from nearly one crore workers.

This offer, which came just six days ahead of the Strike , even do not worth any mention. Is this the promised “acche din” for the anganwadi workers and helpers who takes the most important services of nutrition health and education to 11 crore children under six and 1.9 crore mothers of the country without whom the rest of the fifty percent of India’s children too would have been malnourished? Do the Modi government and its labour Minister consider since we have been working since last fourty years for such a pittance called ‘honorarium”, we are all fools?

It is most unfortunate that the BMS which was a signatory to the strike notice in 2015 but withdrew from the strike unilaterally at the last moment, in spite of the consecutive budget cuts on ICDS considers this as a “positive move.”

All India Federation of Anganwadi workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) reiterates its resolve to participate in the 2nd September 2016 General Strike. We call upon the 26 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers to give a befitting reply to the arrogance of the Modi government and its Minister for WCD who publicly declared that “there is no question of increasing their wages”, “anganwadi workers and helpers do not work’ and so on.

We call upon the people of India to support our struggle, for our rights as workers and the rights of every child for food, health and education and to Save ICDS.

Issued by

A. R. Sindhu
General Secretary

11 July 2016

Six lakh anganwadi workers and Helpers observe “Black Day” on 11 July 2016
Against Privatisation of ICDS

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 “Black Day” on 11th July 2016.

As per the reports received so far, more than six lakh anganwadi workers from 24 states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telengana, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal - observed “black day” on 11 July 2016 at the call of AIFAWH. Hundreds and thousands of anganwadi workers and helpers wearing black dress, holding black banners, flags etc hold demonstrations, dharnas, rallies etc at project, district and state headquarters in different states. 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. Even the pouring rain could not reduce their fighting spirit.

In Chhattisgarh, the anganwadi workers and helpers are sitting in a three days long day and night dharna from 11 to 13 July at the state headquarters. In Madhya Pradesh the anganwadi employees are on two days strike on 11-12 July 2016.

In Delhi the anganwadi workers and helpers assembled in front of the CM’s residence and held a protest march. They were arrested and later released. In Gujarat, the employees held a militant protest rally. Even in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, there were district level protests.

AIFAWH had given a call to observe 11 July 2016, the anganwadi demands day as “black day” against the government’s planned move to dismantle the ICDS through consecutive budget cuts and privatization and handing over the centres to big corporate tax defaulters and corporate NGOs in the name of resource crunch. 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 grand show of strength and protest and calls upon then to campaign against the anti worker policies of the government and join the General Strike called by the Central trade unions on 2nd September 2016. It calls upon the common people to support our fight for the childrens’ right for food, health and education and to Save ICDS.

Issued by
A. R. Sindhu
General Secretary

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

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