Government Forced to keep Promise
On 3rd October 2009, the Chief Minister of Chattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh had assured that the government would give one cycle to each angawadi worker, 10 days summer holidays and consider pension and gratuity for the angawadi employees. This announcement came after the week long campaign and district level dharna organized on the 13 point charter of demands by the unions and a state level rally on 29th September 2009. But nothing was implemented.
The memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister clearly stated that the government has to implement its promises and take action on the demands by 22nd October 2009, failing which the unions will go on struggle.
On 1st November 2009, the state committee of Angawadi Karyakarti Sahayika Sangh met and discussed the issue and decided to go in for an indefinite strike from 9th November 2009. The anganwadi workers and helpers gave a tremendous response to the strike call and nearly 29,000 centres in 16 districts remained closed since 9th. On an average, 5 -10 thousand anganwadi workers and helpers were reaching Raipur everyday to participate in the dharna there.
The administration and the government were forced to call the union for a settlement. The Secretary, Women and Child Development assured the delegation consisting of Devendra Patil, Saritha Pathak, Damayanti Hota, Gajendra Jha and Aruna Vaishnav that the cycles will be issued to the angawadi workers and helpers next month, immediately after the municipal elections. The government will make out a list and give ex gratia for those who retire and work out a pension plan by March 2010, and will give additional honorarium on par with the neighboring states in the next budget, the secretary assured. The government issued orders for anganwadi workers who have not availed the summer holidays last year to avail the 10 days leave from 1st to 31st March 2010.
The union has congratulated the workers and helpers on the successful strike.