Anganwadi Employees’ Rally in Jammu & Kashmir

Soon after the 6th conference of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers in Chandigarh, the Anganwari Workers and Helpers’ Association in Jammu and Kashmir held an extended working committee meeting to report about the conference. The presidents and general secretaries of almost all the district and project committees in the Kashmir valley participated in the meeting. The meeting decided to make efforts to organise the anganwadi employees in the Jammu region and hold a protest rally in Srinagar demanding increase in the remuneration from the state government and implementation of the assurance that seniority would be the criterion for filling up of supervisor posts from anganwadi workers.

Accordingly, a demonstration was held in Srinagar on 26th December 2009 in which around 700 anganwadi employees from different districts participated despite the disturbance in the state due to a huge youth rally near by. The anganwadi employees were undeterred by the tear gas shells that fell on them though they were targeted at the youth rally. Hasina Sofi, president of the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ Association and Mohammed Maqbool, president of the J&K Coordination Committee of Trade Unions addressed the demonstration. The Commissioner of the Social Welfare department was compelled to invite a delegation of the union for discussions in which the Director and other officers of the department participated. The Commissioner assured that enhancement of the remuneration was under active consideration of the government and steps should be soon taken on the appointment of supervisors from the anganwadi workers.

A state level protest followed on 6th January 2010 by the AWWHA and AWWHU at Mubarak mandi in Jammu, outside the office of the Divisional Commissioner. Around 1,500 anganwadi workers and helpers participated despite the heavy snowfall which blocked the Jammu Srinagar National Highway. The rally was addressed by Suman Suri, Hasina Sofi, Mohammed Maqbool and other leaders of the union.