Anganwadi workers, helpers protest, oppose new HR Policy

Anganwadi workers and helpers staging protest near Press Club in Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Anganwadi workers and helpers staging protest near Press Club in Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 31: Hundreds of Anganwadi workers and helpers of Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), under the banner of Anganwadi Workers Welfare Association affiliated to BMS held strong protest demonstration here today.
They were strongly opposing new HR Policy and chanting slogans in favour of their demands. Protesters urged the LG’s administration to enhance their honorarium at par with the adjoining states of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi.
While addressing the protesters Neelam Sharma general secretary of the BMS (JKUT) said that there should be no retirement of ICDS workers till retirement benefits including gratuity Rs 4 lakh per worker and monthly pension is provided as they have given their prime age while serving the department. Instead of changing the names, designations of workers and helpers, the delay tactics and meager wages policy needs to be changed, they asked.
There are some states and even in our neighborhood Ladakh where the upper age limit of workers is 65 years. In West Bengal, ICDS workers are being given Rs 4 lakh gratuity on retirement.
“We appeal to the LG administration to enhance the retirement age upto 70 years and provide gratuity of Rs 4 lakh and pensioner benefits to the workers and helpers,” she added.
Swarna Choudhary, president of the AWWA demanded implementation of the 45th recommendation of Indian Labour Conference held in 2013, which resolved that ICDS workers’ be given worker status. She claimed that new HR Policy was totally against the interests of the Anganwadi workers and helpers and it should be withdrawn forthwith.
“We also demand that every Scheme worker including ICDS workers must be brought under the ambit of Minimum Wages Act recently modified in Jammu and Kashmir in order to give justice to poor women workers, so that the slogan of Beti Bachao and Beti Padao is implemented on ground,” she maintained.
Several other senior Association members including Roshu Sharmna (Gen secy AWWA) and others also addressed the gathering. She warned to intensify their agitation in near future if the Ut Administration failed to resolve their issues.