Anganwadi workers have urged the government to pay a minimum salary of Rs. 10,000 a month as they work for more than eight hours a day. Besides, they have demanded that they be absorbed as Group C and D employees and extended all facilities given to regular government employees.
Talking to mediapersons here on Monday, H.K. Ramachandrappa, president of the All-India Trade Union Congress, and M.V. Sharadamma, president of the Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Karyakartheyara Mattu Sahayakiyara Sangha, said that anganwadi workers played a pivotal role in ensuring healthcare to pregnant women and newborn babies in rural areas. Besides, their services were utilised by different departments for activities such as carrying out survey of below the poverty line families.
Although much work was being extracted from them, the government had not thought of paying them a decent wage, Mr. Ramachandrappa said and added that each anganwadi worker was paid a meagre salary of Rs. 4,500 a month, of which Rs. 3,000 was shared by the Union government.
With skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, how could the workers live on just Rs. 4,500 a month, he asked, and said that in Bangalore no one had come forward to work as anganwadi workers or assistants though the department had repeatedly invited applications, because of the low pay.
The workers had planned a three-phase agitation to draw the attention of the State and Union governments to their demands. In the first phase, anganwadi workers would stage demonstrations in front of taluk offices from October 10 to 12. The second phase of the agitation would be held on November 9 and the third one on December 15.
If the governments failed to concede their demand, the workers would stage the fourth and final round of agitation on December 23, he said.
K. Nilambike, M.S. Vanajakshi, Vishalakshi, S.S. Mallamma and other office-bearers of the association were present.