Udupi, (The Hindu): Members of the Udupi district unit of the Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Association staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here on Tuesday demanding the fulfilment of their various demands.
Addressing the protesters, Sushila Nada, secretary of the district unit of the association, said that the Union government’s decision to provide cash transfer to beneficiaries instead of take-home ration with regard to providing nutritious food to children up to three years and that of providing packaged food instead of food items made of fresh vegetables to children from three to six years old would completely destroy the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
As Aadhaar number linking has been made compulsory, many beneficiaries were unable to get the benefit of the scheme. Besides, the new measures of the government were against the direction of the Supreme Court and National Nutritious Food Mission. This would affect the livelihood of anganwadi workers. Hence, direct transfer of cash should not be implemented in the State, she said.
The government’s decision to start kindergarten section comprising LKG and UKG in government schools would reduce the number of children coming to anganwadis. This would finally lead to the closure of anganwadis. Instead, the government should start LKG and UKG in anganwadis itself, she said.
Honorariums of anganwadi workers should be deposited into their accounts monthly. Earlier, it was done once in three months. But for the last five months, they had not received their honorariums, she said.
Minimum wages for anganwadi workers should be paid on the basis of their seniority. The minimum monthly wages should be fixed at 18,000. This was because anganwadi workers now had the additional responsibility of implementing the Mathru Purna and Mathru Vandana schemes.
As the workers did not have PAN cards, they were not able to benefit from the New Pension Scheme. Remedial action should be taken in the matter. Vacant posts of anganwadi workers and assistants should be filled.
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