Tribune News Service
Bathinda, November 18
Members of the All-Punjab Anganwadi Workers’ Union conducted a meeting regarding their pending demands with Gurpreet Kaur Sapra, Director, Social Security, Women and Child Development Department, at the Chandigarh head office on Monday.
During the meeting, the representatives of the union informed the director about the long pending demands of anganwadi workers and helpers. They also submitted a memorandum of demands and demanded immediate solution to the problems being faced by them.
Talking to Bathinda Tribune, union president Hargobind Kaur said, “Our meeting with the director was successful. She has promised us that two-year pending rent, which the workers have been paying on their own, and uniform allowance will be released soon. She has also given us assurance that bills have already been forwarded for the same and arrears for the increased salary will also be given soon.”
The director said pending salaries of crèche workers for the past 19 months would be released and recruitment of supervisors would also be done within two weeks. The vacant posts of anganwadi workers and helpers would also be filled on priority. She has assured that majority of the pending issues will be resolved within two weeks after which a meeting of angandwadi worker unions will be organised, Kaur added.
Notably, anganwadi workers have been holding demonstrations after regular intervals for the past over six months demanding payment of full honorarium — Rs 1,500 for the worker and Rs 900 for the helper. As per the conditions of the Union Government, the state government did not put in its share to provide full honorarium. The state government has rather promised to pay us Rs 900 as honorarium, she said.
The government had even decided to provide ex gratia for Rs 1 lakh to anganwadi workers and Rs 50,000 to helpers retiring at the age of 70, but it has not been able to provide the same till now. The demand for regularisation of jobs has been lying pending for decades and there are no retirement benefits for the anganwadi workers. There are more than 54,000 anganwadi workers and helpers in 22 districts of the state who have been rendering their services for decades now.
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