Pune: According to a government resolution issued recently, anganwadi workers and helpers (madadnis) will get five per cent increment every year. With Rs 5,000 as per month pay for anaganwadi, the hike is very meagre, said anganwadi workers’ representative from the State. Last year, anaganwadi workers went on a state-wide strike to highlight the issues they face.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Hirabai Ghonge, anganwadi worker and activist who was one of the prominent faces during last year’s state-wide strike said that the increment is just a way to shut the protests and does not aim at addressing the problem faced by the workforce.
“The workers and helpers are being paid peanuts. For last so many years, anganwadi workers were getting Rs 5,000 per month in rural as well as urban areas. And the helpers were paid Rs 2,500. Now, the government has added Rs 1,500 for workers and Rs 1,000 for the helpers after the protest. Even with that increase, five per cent increment is very minimal,” said Ghonge.
Echoing similar sentiments, Shubha Shamim of the Anganwadi Karmachari Sanghatana said that despite the 26-day strike last year, the salary is still not enough.
“The difference in salaries of workers and helpers is a lot. We had asked to reduce that as both put in similar efforts for smooth functioning of anganwadis. Other states have better pay for workers then why cannot Maharashtra offer us better pay,” questioned Shamim.
Kiran Moghe, Secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), who supported last year’s protest said that the government should include these women with the government employed staff.
“Only then the problem of good pay, increment and other facilities for them will be solved,” Moghe said.
What do anganwadis do?
Anganwadis in rural and urban set-ups cater to children, pregnant women and adolescent girls who avail various facilities provided by the government. In every anganwadi, there are at least 70 children from nearby areas who are provided with mid-day meals and monitored for cognitive development.