Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar, after taking a serious note of problems faced by Anganwadi Sevikas (activists), pushed their demands for pension and increased honorarium ahead in a “Melawa” (meeting) called by Anganwadi Karmachari Sabha, Maharashtra, affiliated to Hind Majdoor Sabha. The meeting was held at the hall of Shikshak Sahakari Bank, near Gandhisagar Lake, Mahal, Nagpur specifically to raise their various demands on Saturday. The meeting was attended by hundreds of Anganwadi Sevikas from across Vidarbha.
The “Melawa” was inaugurated by Varsha Gaikwad, Minister for Women and Children Welfare, Maharashtra Government and was presided over by Mohd Iklakhbhai Quereshi, Working President of Anganwadi Karmachari Sabha, Maharashtra. Others who were present include Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar, Mayor Anil Sole, Chairperson of Women’s Financial Development Board Prabhavati Ojha, former Minister Satish Chaturvedi, Nagpur District and City Women’s Congress President Abha Pande and other prominent personalities.
The Anganwadi Sevikas are demanding pension for Sevikas who have completed more than 30 years and hike in their honorariums.
The role of Anganwadi workers is extremely important in taking care of children coming to the Anganwadis. They are health workers chosen from the community and given training in health, nutrition and child care. The Sevikas are in charge of Anganwadis with each covering a population of 1000. They provide care even for newborn babies and ensure that all children below the age of 6 are immunized.
The honorariums of Anganwadi Sevikas in Maharashtra are very less as compared to the worked put in by them. It was increased in 2011 by Central Government and the State Government. Aganwadi Sevikas get mere Rs 4000 per month and their helpers get Rs 2000 per month, informed Nirmalatai Nikhade, General Secretary of Anganwadi Workers Association.
Addressing the gathering, Vilas Muttemwar said, “We speak of women empowerment. But look at the conditions of these women. The women, who work on such responsible jobs in such a less salary in this period of inflation, deserve justice. He demanded the salaries of Anganwadi workers should be increased and pensions are started for those Sevikas who have worked for more than 30 years.”
Anganwadi workers from Chandrapur,Chimur, Wardha, Bhandara, Gondia and other parts of Vidarbha have come to attend the meeting to press for their demands.
The Minister for Women & Child Welfare Minister Varsha Gaikwad, while addressing the gathering, assured that her ministry will put up the demands of pension and honorarium hike in the Cabinet.
The organization General Secretary Nirmalatai Nikhade warned of strong agitation in Delhi if their demands are not met by the Maharashtra Government.