A dozen of Lok Sabha MPs have unanimously agreed to raise the salaries of anganwadi workers and helpers who play a crucial role during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the development of children at the grassroots level. Speaking in Lok Sabha on ‘Welfare Measures for Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers’, Bhartruhari Mahtab of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) urged the Centre to consider giving a reasonable amount of money to the anganwadi workers as honorarium so that they can sustain themselves.
Currently, the honorarium of anganwadi workers and helpers varies from ₹4,500- ₹10,000 per month.
He said that against the sanctioned strength of 13.99 lakh, there are 13.26 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers, and asked the Centre to fill up the vacancies urgently.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Ritesh Pandey introduced a private member’s bill in the lower house. Speaking on the bill, Ramesh Bidhuri of the BJP said population control is very much required for the country and anganwadi workers can play a role in this regard.
Bidhuri also referred to a recent Niti Aayog report that suggested better sanitation facilities for anganwadi workers and pleaded for better infrastructure development for health workers.
Their salary should be raised and they should be given a dress like nurses.
Imtiaz Jaleel of the AIMIM enumerated the contribution of anganwadi workers, especially during the pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, anganwadi workers went from door to door to promote health protocols and established good coordination with other health sector workers like ASHA workers, helping people at a time when family members were scared to take care of their own relatives,” Jaleel said.
Incentives given to anganwadi workers is minimal, given the kind of effort they put in, he said.
Yesterday, a group of anganwadi workers staged a protest to press their demands, including recognition as government employees and a hike in honorarium, in north Delhi’s Civil Lines area. Currently, anganwadi workers and helpers in Delhi are given a monthly honorarium of ₹9,678 and ₹4,839, respectively.
The protesters demanded that the honorarium be increased to ₹25,000 for anganwadi workers and ₹20,000 for helpers.
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