The Karnataka State Midday Meal Workers' Federation took out a rally in Chitradurga on July 24 in support of their demands, including enhancement of remuneration.
In a memorandum submitted to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the federation said that with the increase in prices of essential commodities, the workers were finding it difficult to make ends meet with the Rs. 1,000 that was their wages. The Government should increase their salary to at least Rs. 7,000 a month, they urged.
The memorandum said that lakhs of midday meal workers were helping in increasing the attendance in schools, but their own living standards had become worse.
The federation demanded that the Government provide social security to the workers by considering them as part-time or permanent employees. They urged the Government to extend retirement benefits to the workers.
Women should be given maternity allowance and health insurance, as to the Anganwadi workers, they said.
The Government should ensure that the workers should be covered under an insurance scheme which would benefit them if case of any accidents. If a person suffers injury, the Government should provide compensation of at least Rs. 1.5 lakh, they said.
Besides, the federation demanded that the Government not privatise or outsource the midday meal scheme to organisations such as ISKCON, as such a step would affect the workers. Most of the workers were from below the poverty line and such a measure would deprive them of jobs, the memorandum added.