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, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal- and the All India Centre, 94 comrades participated in the workshop and review meeting.
An extended working committee meeting was held on 24th August 2014 which adopted the recommendations of the Workshop and Review.
The Committee gave a call for the largest ever mobilization of the anganwadi workers and helpers in red uniform in a March to Parliament on 21th November 2014. As the culmination of the joint campaign to “Save ICDS” AIFAWH along with AIKS, AIAWU, AIDWA and CITU will submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister with 5 crore signatures collected from the employees and beneficiaries all over the country. State committees have taken a quota of fifty thousand anganwadi workers and helpers for the March to Parliament.
A public meeting was organised in Gulbarga on 23rd August. Nearly five thousand anganwadi workers and helpers in red sarees participated in the rally and public meeting. The meeting was inaugurated by Neelima Maitra, President AIFAWH. A R Sindhu, General Secretary, AIFAWH, S Varalakshmi, President, Karnataka state anganwadi workers and helpers union, Maruti Manpede, President and Balakrishna General Secretary state Kisan Sabha, Geeta, state General Secretary AIDWA, Shanta Ghante, Sunanda and other anganwadi state leaders addressed the gathering.
The workshop on ICDS Mission discussed the policy, administrative and financial aspects of the ICDS Mission in different sessions and on the basis of the experience of its implementation in various states made a clearer understanding on its implications and adopted policies and plan of action.
The one year experience of the ICDS Mission has vindicated AIFAWH’s opposition to the ICDS Mission. Large scale privatization moves through PPP, privatization of SNP, training, pre-school education etc are going on in various states. Large scale corruption is also involved in many states. NGOs are intruding in ICDS in every state. The workshop reiterated its position to Save ICDS.
In the ‘ICDS Mission’ mode, apart from a little increased financial allocation, the policy and the administrative measures will lead to the dismantling of ICDS
Any move of privatization in any form will be opposed by the AIFAWH
AIFAWH will boycott all Non- ICDS works to concentrate on the effective implementation of the services of ICDS
Instead of appointing new contract, part time workers, convert anganwadi centres to full time anganwadi cum crèches, functioning for eight hours with full time (eight hours) anganwadi workers and anganwadi helpers with recognition as employees with minimum wages and social security benefits including pension
In most of the states, the increased financial allocations for various facilities such as rent, contingency, furniture etc. are not being implemented. AIFAWH unions will take up struggles for the immediate implementation of these.
The Organisational Review of earlier decisions taken was held in separate sessions on Problems in planning, district and project committee functioning, cadre development, financial discipline and joint movement. Some immediate tasks were adopted on the basis of discussions.
On the basis of the recommendations of the Workshop and Review, the extended working committee meeting adopted the following future tasks
1. Widest campaign on the backdoor privatization through ICDS mission, to reach all the anganwadi workers and helpers and also the beneficiaries
2. Oppose any move of privatization of ICDS in any form. Organise militant struggles wherever there are such moves
3. Intensify the efforts for Joint campaign on ‘Save ICDS’ along with CITU, AIKS, AIAWU and AIDWA. Take it to the lower levels
4. Most of the increased financial allocations and other benefits are not being implemented in most of the states. Organise state level and local struggles for the immediate implementation of existing benefits
5. Complete the collection of signatures as per quota on the memorandum to the Prime Minister to reach the state centre before 15 November 2014
6. Implement the immediate tasks on organization. Increase the membership in 2014 to cross six lakhs.
7. Campaign and prepare for the March to Parliament with biggest ever mobilization of anganwadi employees with red uniform in November last week (21 November 2014) during the Winter Session of Parliament.