Anganwadi workers accuse Andhra Pradesh government of apathy as their protest enters 20th day

The government must explain to us how to run a family with ₹7,000 per month if at all it cannot raise the salaries, say the protesters

December 31, 2023 08:36 pm | Updated 11:45 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Anganwadi workers and helpers, along with their children, raising slogans at their protest camp at Dharna Chowk in Vijayawada on Sunday.

Anganwadi workers and helpers, along with their children, raising slogans at their protest camp at Dharna Chowk in Vijayawada on Sunday. | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

The Anganwadi workers and helpers, who have been agitating for the last 20 days demanding solutions to their demands, have accused the Andhra Pradesh government of apathy.

“We have been on the roads for the last 20 days. Yet, there has been no response from the government, which is utilising our services for every work. We are supplying nutritious food to around 10 lakh children in the State, but cannot afford to provide the same to our children thanks to our meagre salaries,” rued a group of protesting workers in unison on December 31 (Sunday).

Around 1 lakh Anganwadi workers and helpers have been abstaining from their duties as a part of their protest. “These women (workers and helpers) have been away from their homes. They missed Christmas and New Year celebrations. When you are not in a position to feed your family properly, what is there to celebrate?,”asked Andhra Pradesh Pragathiseela Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union Stage general secretary V.R. Jyothi.

“We are getting ₹7,000 per month and we have to manage expenses such as house rent, ration, school fees of children and utility bills. The government should tell us how to do it if it cannot raise our salaries,” said Nagamani, an Anganwadi helper.

Sudha Rani, an Anganwadi worker, was quick to add, “A dailywager is earning more than ₹15,000 per month. Successive governments have been paying us lower wages. We are being utilised for implementing all welfare schemes and programmes, but our welfare is the last thing on the government’s mind,” she lamented.

Andhra Pradesh Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union leaders said that the government, which was making “tall claims” on the welfare and security of women, had left the Anganwadi workers and helpers on roads.

“The Anganwadi workers are demanding the implementation of the promise made by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in the run-up to the elections. The talks between the government and the protesting workers have failed thrice. The government clarified that it was not ready to increase the salaries,” said union leader Subbaravamma.

“We are working for more than 18 hours a day. The government is treating us like bonded labourers,” said another Anganwadi helper Venkata Lakshmi.

The workers and helpers accused the government of trying to suppress their agitation by making alternative arrangements at Anganwadi centres for the distribution of food and ration by roping in the village and ward secretariat staff.

The leaders of the AITUC, IFTU and CITU asserted that the agitation would continue until the government conceded all the 11 demands of the Anganwadi workers and helpers.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.