Several noon meal workers were injured when they tried to push past policemen and march to Poes Garden on Tuesday.

Members of the Tamil Nadu Noon Meal Scheme Employees Association staged a dharna to protest inadequacies in their service. The State president of the association, K. Palanisamy, was among those injured.

Senior police officers intervened and arranged for the association representatives to meet social welfare minister B. Valarmathi and chief secretary Sheela Balakrishnan.

Around 3,000 noon meal scheme employees protested near the State guest house in Chepauk demanding pay hikes and pensions as recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission. Policemen were stationed at various points on Walajah Salai and Swami Sivananda Salai. Traffic on Walajah Salai had to be diverted for some time due to the agitation.

“We planned to meet the Chief Minister and get a favourable response from her since the Assembly is in session. There are over a lakh employees across the State. Noon meal organisers take home just about Rs. 6,000 a month. The cooks and assistants earn just Rs. 3,000,” said T.R. Meganathan, State general secretary of the association.

Three protesters were admitted to GH for treatment.

The association members demanded that cooks and assistants be paid on a par with office assistants in government service, and noon meal organisers on a par with junior assistants.

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