All India Federation of Anganwadi workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) welcomes the recommendation of the EPFO to include anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHA workers and Mid Day Meal workers in the EPF Scheme.

AIFAWH congratulates the 26 lakhs anganwadi workers and helpers who have maintained the pressure on the Government by continuously on the streets on their just demands. AIFAWH also congratulates the Central Trade Unions and their representatives in the Central Board of Trustees of EPFO who put the pressure on the Government within the CBT and outside through the struggles.

AIFAWH demands that the Government of India must immediately accept the proposal. We must recall that two days ago the government of India has decided to pay a substantial share of the employer’s contribution to the EPFO in certain sectors. AIFAWH also demands that the Ministry of Women and Child Development to immediately call a meeting of all the Central Trade Union Federations of the Anganwadi workers and Helpers and discuss with them the details of the Provident Fund Scheme and other issues.

We also demand that the government of India accept all the other recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference to recognize the scheme workers as workers pay them minimum wages and provide social security including pension.

AIFAWH is concerned that the NITI Ayog and Government of India had not categorized the ICDS, MDMS and NHM as core to core schemes and the budgetary allocations are being curtailed substantially in the last two budgets althoughthe ICDS and MDMS are providing the statutory benefit of Right to Food to more than 24 crore beneficiaries. AIFAWH demands that these schemes shall be categorized as Core to Core Schemes and the Government must allocate adequate finances to these schemes and institutionalize them.

The government is not ready to recognize any of our basic demands. Narendra Modi government is the first Government to cut the budget of ICDS in spite of their election promise to increase the remuneration of the anganwadi workers and helpers. It is of serious concern that the cut in the budget has led to a situation where there is a crisis in ICDS implementation throughout the country at present. In most of the states anganwadi workers and helpers are not even getting their wages since 3-12 months. There is no supplementary nutrition supply in many states. AIFAWH calls upon the anganwadi workers and helpers throughout the country to continue their struggles to Save ICDS and for the basic rights of recognition as workers and for better living conditions.

A R Sindhu
General Secretary

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