SRINAGAR; Anganwadi workers and helpers working in the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) have demanded release of their honorarium and proper protection kits if they are to distribute dry ration to the doorsteps of beneficiaries of ICDS.
The workers and helpers of Anganwadi centres from various areas of Kashmir Valley said that a few days ago they received ration to distribute door to door to ICDS beneficiaries during the lockdown period. But they were not provided proper protective gear such as gloves, masks, uniforms and sanitisers.
They also said they had not been paid their honorarium for the last months. “We are performing our duties on regular basis, but we are without honorarium for the last 6 months,” many of them said.
Most Anganwadi workers and helpers are dependent upon the income from honorarium, they said.
Vice-president of All Jammu and Kashmir Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union, Latifa Ganie, told Kashmir Reader that the workers and helpers are at risk of infection without protective gear.
“How will they go distribute the ration to houses of people if they are without gloves, masks, and uniforms? The helpers and workers are also without honorarium for the last six months. The department should think about those workers and helpers who are wholly and solely dependent upon this honorarium and are facing financial crisis for the pasy many months,” Ganie said.
When contacted, Deputy Director of ICDS in Kashmir, Bilqees Jan, said that the money of the Anganwadi centres is released directly in the joint bank account of the Sarpanch and counsellor or supervisor the area, but in many places there are no Sarpanchs or counsellors.
“The government have already nominated administrators for areas where there was no appointed Sarpanch. In urban areas, CDPOs have been appointed for the purpose,” Jan said.
She said the honorarium of the Anganwadi centres will be released this month in April. “We have already informed the Anganawadi workers and helpers to maintain proper social distancing and use masks, gloves and sanitiser during the distribution of dry ration to doorsteps of ICDS beneficiaries. We are going to buy kits including masks, gloves, sanitisers and will distribute them to the workers and helpers,” she added.