Staff working in various government schemes in the State staged a dharna demanding a solution to their long-pending demands.
Thousands of women and other staff carrying placards staged protests on Friday urging the government to pay them a minimum monthly salary of ₹21,000.
Following the call given by CITU and other unions, staff working in Anganwadi Centres, ASHA workers, women working in midday meal and other schemes organised dharnas and rallies demanding that the government provide them Provident Fund, Employees State Insurance (ESI), pension and other benefits to all the staff working in various State and Central government schemes. Though the staff have been working for the last few years, the government was paying them honorarium and was not revising salaries and not issuing ration cards stating that they were government employees, said a worker A. Bhagyavathi. “Some lakhs of workers were serving in various government schemes for over ten years. The government is utilising their services without paying them minimum wage,” alleged another Anganwadi worker K. Sulochana.“We extended our services during the pandemic, and many workers died of COVID. But our services were not recognised and no compensation was paid to COVID victims,” said Ch. Usha, demanding that they be recognised as frontline warriors and be paid compensation immediately.
“The government is utilising the services of scheme workers for all public outreach programmes like child care, pulse polio immunisation, literacy development, nutritional diet supply for pregnant women and other services. Thousands of workers were working for many years, but their services were not regularised,” the agitators alleged.
“We request the government to provide job security, health and retirement benefits and pay salaries as per the Minimum Wages Act,” the protesters urged.
The scheme workers staged dharnas at Mandal Revenue Officers and other government offices across the State.