Anganwadi workers protest, demand pay hike

Anganwadi workers protesting in Srinagar on Thursday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Anganwadi workers protesting in Srinagar on Thursday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Mar 3:  Jammu and Kashmir Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association (AWHA) today protested here, demanding an increase in honorarium.
Scores of the protestors assembled at Pratap Park here and raised slogans in support of their demands. The protestors sought a raise in the honorarium paid to Anganwadi workers and helpers. They demanded the same and equal pay as Anganwadi workers are getting in other states. “We want our pay to be equivalent to that of workers of other states.   Every month, they are paid between Rs.12, 000 and Rs.20, 000, “Tasleema Subhan, President of the Anganwadi and Helpers Association,” said.

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She added that they are struggling to support their families because they are paid a meager Rs 5000 per month. “A cooking gas cylinder costs roughly Rs 1000, and those other necessities are similarly costly. How will we be able to pay school fees of our children? “ she explained.
The protesting workers claimed that previous administrations had failed to address their concerns and that they expected the current administration to do so. “But that is yet to happen. We should be paid in accordance with the salaries of other states. No government has ever treated us fairly,” protestors said.
They threatened to go on hunger strike if their demands are not met. “We will go on a hunger strike with our families, and the administration will be responsible for the repercussions,” the protestors said.
The protestors said that besides doing the Anganwadi work, they also perform duties for the health department, education department, and social welfare department. “But we are never paid for the extra work,” they said.