The Executive Director,
Ministry of WCD
Sub:- Linking the payment of anganwadi workers and the allocation of food grains /funds to states to ‘Poshan Tracker’ app regarding
Ref:- Letter no. F.No.PA/41/2021-CPMU (e-91729) dated 4 March 2021 by Ministry of WCD, Poshan Abhiyan
We are shocked to receive the above mentioned letter which says “It may be kindly noticed that payment of honorarium of AWWs for the month of March 2021 onwards will be linked to downloading of Poshan Tracker App and expeditious inputting of data by all Anganwadi Workers in States/UTs. Allocation of food grains/funds to states/UTs from first quarter of 2021 onwards will also be based on data of beneficiaries on boarded on Poshan Tracker system.”
As the Executive Director of Poshan Abhiyan, we hope that you are well aware of the disbursement of mobile phones to the anganwadi workers in various states, the training and network connectivity. In most of the states the distribution of mobile phones has not yet completed. In some states it is reported that the mobile phones were distributed to the anganwadi workers a couple of years back and these phones have older versions of android system which are incompatible with the ‘Poshan Tracker App.’ Many of the DPO/CDPO offices are yet to be digitized.
Although the anganwadi workers are asked to upload data online, most of the states are not paying the allowance for the data to the anganwadi workers. Further, in many parts of our country, the mobile connectivity is available or very poor and it is almost impossible to upload data from mobile phones. In states like Himachal Pradesh, the anganwadi workers have to travel kilometers to get internet connectivity to upload data.
The decision by the ministry to link the payment of the anganwadi workers with the downloading of the Poshan Tracker App and to withhold the remuneration of the anganwadi workers from March 2021 is illegal and unethical. Further, the decision to withhold the allotment of funds and food grains from first quarter of 2021 will deprive lakhs of malnourished children of their right to food for none of their fault.
Since the lockdown, the anganwadi centres are not yet fully operational. The anganwadi workers have been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic risking their lives. The non availability of the mobile phones and the non payment for data are not any fault of the anganwadi workers or the beneficiaries. Instead of using the new technologies to reduce the work burden and improve efficiency, using it for penalizing the grass root level workers and beneficiaries is against the interest of the people.
So, we request you to withdraw the letter and the decision to link the remuneration (‘honorarium’) of the anganwadi workers and the food grains /fund of ICDS with the functioning of the ‘Poshan Tracker’ App immediately.
We request you to ensure adequate financial allocation for procurement of phone, mobile data, training, availability of networks etc before fully shifting to the web based reporting system.
A R Sindhu