Despite Maharashtra government’s announcement to hike their salaries today, Anganwadi workers have decided to continue with their strike, terming the raise as “miniscule”. Nearly two lakh Anganwadi workers working in 1.10 lakh Anganwadis in the state cater to nutritional needs of children under the age of six and adolescent girls who are malnourished or anaemic. The beneficiaries of these schemes implemented by Anganwadi workers are provided two freshly cooked meals.
These workers are on indefinite strike since September 12 demanding a salary hike as per their service seniority. The state government today decided to give a hike in the payment and workers will receive a salary of Rs 6,500 per month. This will put a burden of Rs 363 crore on the state exchequer annually. “This is a miniscule hike which is not acceptable. Also, our demand was to hike salary as per the seniority. As of now, sevikas who have been in the service only for a year and those who have been serving for over 20 years are drawing the same salary.
“Senior Sevikas should get more salary as per the years of service put together, which should be a minimum of Rs 7,000 and go up to Rs 13,000,” Convener of an statewide action committee of Anganwadi Sevikas Shubha Shamin said. “We will continue the strike and will try to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to put forward our demand,” Shamim said.
Eariler, Woman and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde announced that the salary of Sevikas will be hiked by Rs 1,500, helpers will get Rs 1,000 hike and all workers will get Rs 1,000 as an additional bonus during Diwali (Bhaubheej gift). “Payment will be made to workers bank account directly (direct benefit transfer) through public financial management system,” she said.