The protest started by the Anganwadi workers and Helpers Union(DSAWHU) in New Delhi over demands of a pay hike, and the implementation of a July 2015 agreement between the workers and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has entered into its 40th day today.
Hundreds of Anganwadi workers took to the streets 40 days ago to protest against the “government’s move to privatize the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) through private public participation (PPP)”, under which Anganwadi are run.
The sangha said that the Union government had brought out a policy document on the PPP in running Anganwadi. Prominent recommendations included replacing nutritious food provided in Anganwadi with education and counseling, privatizing at least 10 per cent of existing Anganwadi, handing over 10 per cent of ICDS projects to Panchayat Raj institutions, outsourcing additional work, and converting service of Anganwadi workers to contract basis.
The sangha said that the government should immediately withdraw its decision to hand over maintenance of Anganwadi to Vedanta Society in Chickballapur, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Rural and Urban districts and withdraw the notification asking Stree Shakti groups to prepare meals for Anganwadi.
The worker’s union cite the non-implementation of a July 2015 agreement signed by Kejriwal accepting their demands, including a pay hike for workers and helpers, timely payments and issuing identity cards for associated workers, among other demands. It has been since then and the unions still await the fulfillment and implementation of these agreements made in 2015.
While deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has acknowledged the low honorariums paid to Anganwadi workers after an inspection of centers and meetings with union members, spokespersons of the DSAWHU claim that their protests will continue unless they receive an official gazette or notification and not assurances via tweets or press releases.