SRINAGAR, July 4: Scores of helpers to supervisors of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) department who have been disengaged by the government today staged a protest here, demanding revocation of the termination order and release of outstanding wages.
The helpers Anganwadi workers and supervisors gathered at Partap Park Press Enclave here and raised slogans in support of their demands. They were holding banners and placards that read “We Want Justice” and “Revoke the Order”.
They said they have worked for the department for the past two decades. “We fulfilled every duty, from election duty to immunization, but we were without salaries for the last three years,” a protesting worker said.
She added that the government has failed to release their wages for the last four years despite court directions. “They should release our salaries and reverse the termination order,” she said.
She added the department is refusing to follow the court’s directive. “Our rights have been snatched. Our inability to teach our kids. Most of us have reached the retirement age and are no longer eligible for employment. How can we feed our families?” she said.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the protesting helpers said they worked tirelessly and risked their lives to save others. “Despite endangering our lives, the authorities fired us,” they said.
The protestors said that they have been protesting for the past three years but authorities have remained unmoved. “We have moved to the court that has stayed the order. But, the department’s indifference concerns us,” a protestor said, adding that they are unable to work in the government sector since they are over the age limit.
The disengaged workers threatened to escalate protests if the order was not reversed shortly. “The authorities will be held accountable for the repercussions,” they said.
Authorities had removed 918 ICDS supervisors and others stating that they had been “improperly” appointed.