SRINAGAR: Anganwadi workers and helpers of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) project of the state Social Welfare department held a protest demonstration here in Srinagar on Saturday, demanding an increase in honorarium.
The protesters first assembled in Partap Park under the banner of the All Jammu and Kashmir Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association; later on the protesters blocked Residency Road, aising slogans against the state government for not fulfilling their long-pending demands.
Despite the recent hike in their honorarium by the administration, the Anganwadi workers and helpers demanded the “legitimate” hike in their monthly honorarium, as per the other states of India.
“We are not satisfied with a mere hike in our honorarium, we demand the honorarium as per the other states of India, and we will not back down till it is granted,” the protesters said.
Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association president Tasleema Subhan told Kashmir Reader that after the assurance of former Governor N N Vohra’s administration last month, they had cancelled protest demonstrations across the state.
“We are nearly 64,000 workers and helpers working in different centres across Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
“All of us are facing financial crisis due to the attitude of the state government towards us.”
Tasleema further said that in the past month, the workers and helpers had attempted to meet the state Governor regarding their demands. Vohra, she said, gave them “surety” that their rightful demands would be fulfilled within three weeks. But nothing has been done at the ground level.
Anganwadi workers and helpers are paid a very low honorarium in J&K, with workers receiving Rs 3,600 and helpers Rs 1,800 monthly while Anganwadi workers in Delhi and Maharashtra are paid Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,500 respectively.
The protesters blamed the government for failing again to fulfill their demands. “We have decided that the Anganwadi centres will remain closed again all over the state till the demands are fulfilled,” they said.
The J&K anganwadi workers and helpers have already held protest demonstrations in the state over the past six months. They have now threatened the government that in case their demands are not fulfilled by August 30, they will again start massive protest demonstrations across the state.