They press for demands at State-level consultation
The voices of anganwadi workers grew louder on Tuesday as they pressed for their demands at a State-level consultation here. Coming together under the banner of the Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Federation, the workers demanded an increase in their monthly salaries, health security measures besides pension benefits.
Addressing the consultation programme, G.R. Shivashankar, president of the federation, said, “Statistics in villages (maintaining registers) are generated by anganwadi workers. They are the ones who work at the grassroots. But there is so much pressure that the workers are not able to focus on their tasks effectively.”
There are 1.29 lakh anganwadi workers and anganwadi assistants across the State. While the anganwadi workers are paid Rs. 4,500 per month, the anganwadi assistants are paid Rs. 2,500.
Usha K., an anganwadi worker from Kundapur taluk, said that the anganwadi workers are overburdened and apart from looking after children, they have to maintain 33 registers.
She said that they have to look after supplementary nutrition for pregnant women and children. Explaining the hurdles involved, H. Yashoda, an anganwadi worker from Ramanagaram, alleged that they were often harassed by their superiors.
Mr. Shivashankar emphasised that there are over 56 lakh beneficiaries who required the assistance of anganwadi workers.
“They take care of lakhs of people and yet their own lives are in a pitiable condition,” he said.
The workers will stage a State-level dharna on August 9 to push for their demands.
Earlier in the day, Umashree, Minister of State for Women and Child, who attended the consultation, said that she would look into the demands of the workers and take up the issue with the Chief Minister. She warned the workers that action would be taken if there were irregularities in the data collected or funds utilised.