23rd February 2010
Smt Krishna Tirath
Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development,
Government of India,
New Delhi 110001
Sub: On Demands of Angawadi Workers and Helpers
We wish to remind you of your kind appointment to our delegation on 5th November 2009 wherein we brought to your notice certain demands of the lakhs of anganwadi workers and helpers in the country. We also requested the immediate distribution of the sarees for 2008 and 2009, as promised by the government to the anganwadi workers and helpers. You were kind enough to assure us that the measures for the distribution of sarees were being taken and to do your best on the other demands.
But, we are sorry to state no steps have been taken by the government on these demands till now. The anganwadi workers and helpers in most of the states have not received their due of 4 sarees for the two years even as it is now almost three years since the promise has been made. The assurance of the Prime Minister of providing some social security benefits at the time of retirement of anganwadi workers and helpers, made almost four years back, remain unimplemented. While the prices of all the essential commodities have skyrocketed, they find it impossible to give their children two square meals a day with their meagre remuneration.
This attitude of apathy towards the most genuine demands of the anganwadi workers and helpers has created lot of resentment among them, which was reflected in the countrywide demonstrations on 19th February 2010 in which lakhs of anganwadi employees participated. We are afraid that this resentment is bound to worsen in the coming days if the government continues to neglect their demands and fails to implement its own assurances, immediately.
Hence, we request you once again, to intervene personally and take the necessary measures to meet the following demands of the anganwadi workers and helpers.
1. Provide Rs 1 lakh to the workers and Rs 50,000 to the helpers who are being ‘retired’ from service. Extend this benefit to all the anganwadi workers and helpers who have been removed from the service already.
2. Formulate a pension scheme for all the anganwadi workers and helpers, assuring a monthly pension of 50 percent of the last drawn monthly remuneration
3. Immediate enhancement of the remuneration of the anganwadi workers and helpers in view of the exorbitant rise in the prices of all essential commodities
4. Anganwadi workers should be paid minimum wages applicable to skilled workers and helpers those applicable to semi skilled workers. Wages of anganwadi employees should be linked to the Consumer Price Index
5. No Privatisation of ICDS, including the supply, preparation and distribution of supplementary nutrition
6. Regularise ICDS and recognise anganwadi workers and helpers as Grade III and Grade IV government employees
Neelima Maitra AR Sindhu K Hemalata
President Secretary General Secretary