Demanding a monthly minimum honorarium of Rs. 10,000 and regularisation of their services, members of the Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Sangha under the aegis of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, staged a demonstration at Mysore Bank Circle in the city Friday.

Shouting slogans and holding placards, the workers said they were upset as the Rs. 4,500 honorarium that they are getting now is too little to make both ends meet. “This payment too is not regular. Salaries pending for two months were released on October 17,” said sangha secretary L.R. Nalinakshi.

Although the government had assured in the previous budget to increase the honorarium of anganwadi workers, nothing had been done so far, she said.

Apart from demanding employment benefits such as ESI, PF and pension, the protesters said they were also upset about the increasing cases of child malnutrition.

The supply of packaged food to children through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme has been stopped. “But the substitute of moong dal on a daily basis is causing stomach upset in the children. Their parents do not want to send their children to the centres,” said Ms. Nalinakshi.

She said the government did not release the rent of buildings where anganwadi centres were run. “Teachers are forced to pawn their jewellery and pay the rent,” she said.