Hundreds of anganwadi workers and helpers began an indefinite strike near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence in north Delhi on Monday, demanding an increase in their monthly honorarium.
The police stopped the protesters a few hundred metres away from the CM’s house.
The workers, belonging to the Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union, also warned that they would go to Punjab and other States, which are going to the polls. “Both the Delhi and Central governments have not helped us. We will send teams of workers to Punjab, Goa, U.P. and Uttarakhand to expose both AAP and the BJP, as they are the ruling parties in Delhi, and tell people not to vote for them,” said Vrishali, spokesperson of the union.
“In Punjab, Arvind Kejriwal had said that he will double the honorarium of anganwadi workers and ASHA workers. He also said that in Delhi, the government has been paying ₹1 crore as compensation to families of front line workers who succumbed to COVID-19. But in Delhi, anganwadi workers are not even given face masks, let alone face shields and PPE kits,” she added.
The honorarium for anganwadi workers in Delhi was last increased in August 2017 after 58 days of strike. The present honorariums of anganwadi workers and helpers in Delhi are ₹9,678 and ₹4,839 respectively, as per the union.
“On September 7, 2021, we had met Delhi’s Women and Child Development Minister and were assured that our demands would be addressed within a week. But he never got back. On January 6 this year, we tried to meet him again at the Delhi Secretariat, but did not get an appointment,” the spokesperson said.
When contacted, the Delhi government spokesperson declined to comment.