Shri Narendra Modi
Hounorable Prime Minister
Government of India
As you are aware, nearly one crore workers, mostly women are employed for implementation of Central Government’s different schemes like Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Mid Day Meal (MDMP), Accredited Social Heath Activists (ASHAs), National Health Mission (NHM), National Child Labour Project (NCLP), National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rozgar Sevaks of MGNREGA, Shiksha Mitras, Panchayat Sevaks etc. They are rendering commendable basic services mostly to lakhs of poor rural families including the agricultural workers, farmers and rural manual workers. Majority of both the workers and the beneficiaries, belonging to socially marginalized sections.
These Scheme Workers, many of whom are working for 10 to 40 years are not recognised as workers, not paid minimum wages and have no social security. Instead they are called ‘volunteers’ ’activists,’ ‘guests’ etc and are paid a pittance as ’honourarium’ or ‘incentives’.
The 45th Indian Labour Conference (May 2013) discussed the issues of scheme workers in details and recommended to recognize them as ‘workers’, pay minimum wage and ensure social security benefits. Many concerned ministries like the Ministry of HRD, in the ILC had agreed to immediately make some provisions to improve their working conditions. The said recommendation of 45th ILC was reiterated unanimously by the 46th Indian Labour Conference (2015).
During all pre-budget discussions, the CITU and all Central Trade Unions are demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the 45th ILC. You may also recall that last few Nationwide General Strikes too have emphasised the demands of minimum wages and social security to these workers.
But unfortunately, none of the assurances or recommendations was implemented till date. Instead, the government had drastically cut down the budget allocation and is attempting to close down these schemes, many of which are providing statutory benefits. The condition of the workers is further deteriorating with lack of funds.
In this circumstance, I would like to request you to take personal interest and intervene to ensure the proper and effective functioning of these schemes and to end the exploitation of these workers who deliver important service to the future of our country.
- Implement the recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference
- Recognition as workers
- Minimum Wages not less than Rs.18000 per month linked to CPI
- Ensure pension not less than Rs.3000per month, gratuity, provident fund, medical benefits and other social security measures for all scheme workers
- No privatisation of the Schemes
- Adequate Financial allocation to social sector schemes in the Budget 2017-18