Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 17:
Thousands of Anganwadi workers today took out a massive rally from Master Canteen square to Lower PMG in front of the Odisha Assembly here to protest against the step-motherly treatment of the Odisha Government.
The workers, led by leaders of Nikhila Odisha Anganwadi Workers’ Association, in association with All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), agitated near lower PMG demanding a better pay package for their work, timely promotion and pension after retirement.
“Thousands of us are here today demanding a minimum salary of Rs 15,000 a month, implementation of pension facilities for those who have been ousted from their jobs after 60 and 100 percent supervisor promotion. We also demand correction of SNP rate as it is difficult to manage properly. We expect the government to provide anganwadi houses for every centre. We also want to government to accord us recognition as they have declared us as government scheme workers,” said General Secretary of the association Harapriya Swain.
“The anganwadi workers are most neglected lot today. The Union Government has not even given them labourer status yet. The ILC has recommended them to be accorded labourer status, but it is yet to be done,” said AITUC General Secretary Ramkrushna Panda.
“If you look at it in the Odisha context, the workers work for a meagre amount of Rs 4000 a month and the assistants get only Rs 2000 a month. These are the workers who transform kids to citizens of India, but they don’t even get their minimum wage. Hence, we demand that the State Government should take a call on priority on points such as the minimum wage of Rs 15,000 a month, labourer status and social security needs such as health, education and post-retirement benefits like pension,” he added.
“The government doesn’t care about us even though we keep protesting under the banner of Nikhila Odisha Anganwadi worker’s Association and AITUC. We are not going to give up either. We will continue to protest until the governments fulfils our legitimate demands,” said an anganwadi worker.