Hundreds of anganwadi workers took to the streets here on Wednesday to protest against the “government’s move to privatise the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) through private public participation (PPP)”, under which anganwadis are run.
There was a traffic jam for over two hours on the main road in the city as theanganwadi workers, under the banner of the Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Noukarara Sangha, affiliated to the CITU, took out a procession waving red flags and raising slogans against the government and against private participation in running anganwadis.
The sangha said that the Union government had brought out a policy document on the PPP in running anganwadis. Prominent recommendations included replacing nutritious food provided in anganwadis with education and counselling, privatising at least 10 per cent of existing anganwadis, 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 anganwadis to Vedanta Society in Chickballapur, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Rural and Urban districts and withdraw the notification asking Stree Shakti groups to prepare meals for anganwadis.
It sought a total ban on private participation in running anganwadis. The members also said that all anganwadi workers should be given minimum wages as fixed by the State government and Rs. 3 lakh crore should be allocated in the 12th Plan for the ICDS scheme.
Bidar Special Correspondent reports:
The Bidar police stopped anganwadi workers from laying siege to the Deputy Commissioner’s office demanding wage revision and regularisation of services on Wednesday.
Anganwadi workers gathered at the Ganesh Maidan, which is at a distance of around 1.5 km from the ZP office. The protesters tried to lay siege to the DC office in the afternoon.
They gathered in front of the office and tried to climb the gates. But the police took them into custody. They were released by evening.