A large number of anganwadi workers and helpers staged a protest demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Monday, demanding implementation of the pension scheme.
The protest was held under the aegis of the district unit of the Karnakata State Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC). The anganwadi workers and helpers who came from different parts of the district pressed for fixing minimum monthly pension of ₹ 3,000 and sought other social benefits for retired anganwadi workers and helpers.
In a memorandum, federation president S.F. Samudri and district convenor N.A. Kazi said that the life of anganwadi workers and helpers had turned miserable after retirement as they are deprived of pension and other social benefits.
Anganwadi workers and helpers render yeoman service in the implementation of the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS), which has played a decisive role in providing nutritious food, preschool education and primary healthcare for children aged less than six and their mothers. However, the anganwadi workers and helpers, who play a key role in implementing the ICDS, have been wholly uncared for.
Successive governments have ignored the demand to introduce pension for anganwadi workers and helpers. At present, they are given ₹ 50,000 lumpsum at the time of retirement. Other than this, they do not receive any other social benefits. While other workers of the Department of Women and Child Development are entitled to pension, anganwadi workers and helpers are deprived of it.
The federation has been demanding minimum monthly pension of ₹ 3,000 for retired anganwadi workers and helpers and coverage for the serving workers and helpers under the New Pension Scheme. But repeated appeals have not evoked any response from the governments.