Several Anganwadi workers from across the district protested against recent policies that would adversely affect the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) governing the running of centres for children below six years of age.

Among the major demands of the workers was the end to privatisation of the scheme, especially the Memorandum of Understanding with mining firm Vedanta to run Anganwadis in Chikballapur, Ramanagara, Bangalore Rural and Urban districts.

The Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Association demanded a rollback of the state government’s “Makkala Mane” scheme in Hassan District, which Ravikala, president of the Association, said had resulted in the closing down of Anganwadis in the area.

Another objection to State government policy was the handing over of preparation of meals to local self help groups. “The State government is interfering with a Central Government scheme. By giving the work of preparing the meals to SHGs, Anganwadi assistants are being sidelined and will lose their jobs.” said B.M. Bhat, CITU State Committee member.

Mr. Bhat warned that if their demands were not met by December, a state-wide protest would be called. The group submitted an 18-point memorandum to the Deputy Director of the Department of Woman and Child Development, A. Shakuntala.

More In: Mangaluru