|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Mar 19: Thousands of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers continued their strike and protest demonstration for the successive 48th day today. Drawn from various ICDS projects of Jammu Division in large numbers, Anganwadi Workers & Helpers gathered at Press Club Jammu under the banner of "Anganwadi Workers & Helpers Union, Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu" and held protest demonstration to press for their long pending genuine demands.
The protest demonstration was addressed by Suman Suri-President, Nirmal Sharma Gen. Sec. Mahjabeen, Monika, Asha Devi, Zaida Beggum, Suman, Pinki Bhat and others. All the speakers maintained that they constitute a 100% women workforce and they are being used as Bonded Labours, as heir services are being utilized for implementation of various Centrally Sponsored Programmes by various departments, such as Pulse Polio Immunization, Sabla, Census, Election Duties, Verification and Survey of Below Poverty Line(BPL) & Above Poverty Line(APL) Ration Card Holders, Preparation of Adhar Cards, Verification of Beneficiaries under Social Welfare and others, in addition to the duties under ICDS.
They are being used as Multipurpose Workers for implementation of various Centrally Sponsored Programmes and are made to perform multifarious duties for a meager honorarium of Rs.3600/- per month to Anganwadi Worker and Rs.1800/- per month to Helper, which is a cruel joke and sheer exploitation of this 100% Women Work Force of ours, a case of gender based discrimination and violation of Fundamental Rights and Natural Justice, as the minimum wage per day fixed by Central Govt. even for unskilled temporary labour is Rs. 225/- per day which is about twice as much the Honorarium being paid to Anganwadi Workers and Four Times the Honorarium being paid to Helpers.