Considering economic inflation and the high cost of living, the minimal honorarium provided to the Anganwadi Workers is not enough for them to fend for themselves and their families, say the authors.
Deepanshu Mohan, Associate Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for New Economics Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Sakshi Chindaliya, TRIP Fellow, Senior Research Assistant, Visual Storyboard Co-Team Lead, Centre for New Economics Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Jignesh Mistry, Senior Research Analyst, Visual Storyboard Team Lead, Centre for New Economics Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Slogans of “Pakka kaam kacchi naukri nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (being called an honorary worker while doing the job of a permanent employee is unacceptable to us)” and “Beti padhao, beti bachao- ka nara jhuta hai (educate your daughter, save your daughter – this slogan is a lie)” echoed in the surroundings of the District Commissioner (DC) Office in Sonipat and other locations around Haryana for four months until recently.
From December 8, 2021, the Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs), associated with the All-India Trade Union Congress and Centre of Indian Trade Unions, went on a four-month-long protest, until April 7, demanding the government heed to their demands. While sit-ins were held in Haryana, AWWs and AWHs from across the country extended their solidarity to highlight their abysmal working conditions. They braved harsh weather conditions and unfavourable circumstances.
Their cause was also supported by ‘fellow-brothers’ from the kisan andolan during this period. The Centre for New Economics Studies’ Visual Storyboard research team, over the last month, spoke to many protesting Anganwadi workers and unions supporting their protest against the government.
While most stakeholders under the ambit of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme participated in this andolan, it is essential to note that some AWWs and AWHs affiliated to different unions did not join. Despite their disagreement with the government, their unions did not allow them to take part in the protests. Some said they opted out of protests because of the well-being of the women and children who are the beneficiaries at their centres.
Published in: The Wire
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