Anganwadi workers demand gratuity from government

City State

Workers strike work across Karnataka against the state government.

Anganwadi workers still await gratuity for which they have started protesting against the state government. “Despite the Supreme Court’s recent order, the state government has still not taken any action,” said the protesting workers today.

SC ordered in April that all anganwadi workers and helpers were entitled to gratuity.

Sunanda H S, general secretary of the union, said, “Some of us anganwadi workers had filed for gratuity from 2011, and SC also supported us this year.”

Laxmi Devi, general secretary of the Anganwadi workers and labourers union in Chikkaballapurdistrict said: “Even after the SC order, the government has done nothing.”

Anganwadis, which fall under the government’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, offer six services. One complaint against the Centre and state governments is that they do not provide sufficient funds to anganwadi workers. They struggle to provide nutritious food and egg to the children, lactating mothers and pregnant women.

Bhagyamma T, an anganwadi worker who participated in the protest, said: “The Government does not release sufficient funds. It is a struggle for us to continue our job.”

In an article, the state Education and Literacy Minister and Woman and Child Development Minister said that Karnataka will implement the National Education Policy (NEP). Anganwadi workers are not happy with that decision either.

“Only workers with higher education got selected for the training, but we want all anganwadi workers to be trained,” Laxmi Devi said.

Labour rights advocate Datar said: “Full-time employees only get gratuity, as per the Payment of Gratuity Act.”