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 country by the BJP led government. To the utter dismay of the around 10 crore women and children, the beneficiaries of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the allocation for this flagship programme of government of India has been drastically cut by more than half, from Rs 18108 crore in 2014 – 15 to a paltry Rs 8245.77 crores. This is nothing but an open attack on the poor in the country which is home to more than half of the malnourished in the world.
The BJP, which promised of ‘reviewing the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of anganwadi workers’ before the elections, has completely ignored the more than 27 lakhs anganwadi workers and helpers who have been working for a pittance since the last more than 30 – 35 years in the ICDS. The recommendation of the 45th session of the Indian Labour Conference have been confined to the dustbin, despite the unanimous demands of all the federations of anganwadi employees and the central trade unions for their implementation.
The callous attitude of the BJP government was evident when the Prime Minister and his government bending over backwards to satisfy the demands of the corporates, both national and multinational, was not even ready to hear the representatives of the anganwadi employees despite repeated requests. This budget has once again exposed the fact that ‘acche din’ under the BJP rule, are for the corporates, not for the common people, women and children.
While the prices of all the essential commodities have been continuously increasing there has been no increase in the remuneration of the anganwadi workers and helpers since 2011. The government of India pays only Rs 3000 to the anganwadi workers and Rs 1500 to the helpers per month, despite increasing the working hours. They are denied minimum social security benefits including pension, gratuity etc.
AIFAWH strongly condemns this anti women anti children and anti anganwadi employee budget and calls upon all the anganwadi employees in the country to unitedly oppose this irrespective of their affiliations. It calls upon all its state committees to organise protest demonstrations and burn effigies at the project/district level all over the country on 3rd March 2015. It calls upon the anganwadi employees as well as all other sections of working people to intensify the struggle to ‘Save ICDS’ and for better working conditions.
A. R. Sindhu (General Secretary)