Hundreds of anganwadi workers and helpers gathered at the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall in Jalandhar on 10th July and demanded that the state government must release its share of the promised hike in their salaries.
In October 2018, the Central Government had announced a hike of Rs 1,500 in their salaries, of which 60 per cent share was to be given by the Centre and the remaining by the state government. But the Punjab state government is yet to pay the workers its share of the hike. The anganwadi workers have submitted letters, addressed to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, to the District Programme Officer.
These workers and helpers carry out critical functions, under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), to ensure that children are saved from malnourishment. They also play an important role in the immunisation of children in the age-group of 0 to 6 years.
They have been demanding that the recommendations of the 45th Labour Conference be implemented and workers be brought under the minimum-wage ambit of Rs 18,000 for workers and Rs 15,000 for helpers. They have also been demanding benefits of social security, pension (Rs.3000) and gratuity.
The agitating anganwadi workers are determined to intensify their protest further if the government fails to meet their demands.