Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: The Dakshina Kannada Zilla Anganwadi Karyakartheyara Maththu Sahayakiyara Sangha will take out a protest rally and stage a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here on February 28 to press for the implementation of 12-point charter of demands.

While seven of these demands pertain to the anganwadi workers and their assistants, the rest are about facilities needed at the aganwadis.

Jayalakshmi B.R., president of the sangha, told presspersons here on Thursday that most of the anganwadi workers and their assistants had been part of an official set up on child welfare since the Integrated Child Development Scheme was implemented in 1975. The workers had been carrying out duties assigned to them on an honorarium basis since then, she said, and added that this had resulted in reduction of infant mortality rate.

The Department of Women and Child Welfare had been utilising their services for departmental and non-departmental work from the beginning without giving them any facilities, she charged.

The Karnataka Administrative Tribunal had passed a judgment directing the State Government to consider anganwadi workers as Government employees. The Government, however, had approached the Supreme Court seeking its intervention in this regard and this was regrettable, she said. The Maharashtra Government had taken positive step to provide benefits such as pension to anganwadi workers, she said.

They would urge the Government to extend similar benefits to anganwadi workers in the State, she said.