JAMMU, May 31: Strongly opposing the recently issued order of 6-hour duty by the State Social Welfare Department, Anganwadi workers and helpers held strong protest demonstration outside the Directorate at Roopnagar here today.
A large number of Anganwadi workers and helpers from various districts, under the banner of Anganwadi Workers Welfare Association, (a unit of Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh), assembled in the office complex of Director Social Welfare Jammu here in the morning and started protest demonstration. They were opposing the order issued recently by the Directorate, regarding 6-hour duty instead of 4-hours as already prescribed under Central guidelines.
They alleged that these directions were against the spirit of ICDS scheme.
They shouted slogans in favour of their demands regarding roll back on the controversial order, release of pending salary and also providing salary in time, enhancement of wages of the workers and helpers. They staged strong dharna and protest for two-three hours.
Several speakers while addressing demanded that order be reviewed and only 4-hour duty be retained for the workers and if the Government wants 6-hour duty it should provide minimum Rs 11,000 wages to the Anganwadi workers. They said the ICDS scheme was launched on October 2, 1976, as Centrally sponsored scheme implemented through State Government with 100 per cent Central assistance. These workers are not holding any civil post or nor Minimum Wages Act is applicable to them and they perform average 4-5 hour duty per day but they are paid a meager wages. They threatened to hold protests at district and tehsil level.
Senior trade unionist from BMS Lakshman Ravinder Singh, Karnail Chand, Harbans Choudhary, Ashok Choudhary, association president Swarna Choudhary and Neelam Sharma (gen secy) addressed the gathering. They also submitted a memorandum to the Government seeking review of the order.