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 and large scale privatisation under the BJP rule.
All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) congratulates anganwadi workers and helpers all over the country for the successful observance of the “All India Demands’ Day” on 10th July 2015.
In spite of heavy rains in many states, nearly two lakh anganwadi workers from 18 states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand , Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tripura, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal - observed “demand’s day” on 10th July 2015 at the call of AIFAWH.
Anganwadi workers and helpers held rallies, demonstrations, dharnas etc at the project/district headquarters and submitted a charter of demands to the Prime Minister and the Minister for WCD, on their long pending demands. In Haryana and West Bengal state level rallies and demonstrations were held. In West Bengal memorandum was submitted to the Governor. In Haryana, the Chief Minister had called the union for a discussion on 11 July. In Punjab, in all districts, the anganwadi employees collected one rupee coins and submitted to the Chief Minister to “fill his empty coffers”.
AIFAWH has given a call to observe 10 July, as demands day against the ongoing privatisation of the ICDS first in the name of ‘ICDS Mission’ now in the name of public private partnership and the drastic cut in central budget 2015-16 for ICDS and for implementation of the recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference, recognizing the scheme workers (including the anganwadi workers and helpers) as workers, paying them minimum wages and providing pension, and freedom of association.
In contrary to the promise in the BJP Manifesto to “Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's”, the Modi government had cut down the budget for ICDS by nearly 60%. Many state governments have already started cutting down the allocation to ICDS.
Moreover, although Smt. Maneka Gandhi had promised that there will not be any privatisation of ICDS, in the name of PPP and social partnership, the BJP government is handing over the anganwadi centres to big corporates like Vedanta. AIFAWH will oppose all such moves tooth and nail. AIFAWH demands that the government must stop any move to privatise the ICDS and immediately implement the recommendations of the 45th ILC on scheme workers.
AIFAWH calls upon the anganwadi workers and helpers to intensify their struggles for decent working conditions and against the privatisation of the scheme.
A R Sindhu