The Andhra Pradesh Anganwadi workers ended their 42-day strike on Tuesday, January 23, after the state government agreed to fulfil their demands of increasing the wages and providing insurance coverage. According to the official statement, the government has acknowledged to address all the 11 demands laid out by the Anganwadi workers. Increasing the salary was one of the primary demands of the protesting Anganwadi workers. The government has agreed to increase the salary after discussions with the Union government. The implementation of salary increments is scheduled for July this year.
“The government has said discussions will be held with the Union Government and the workers will receive satisfactory wages. It has also been decided that Anganwadis will be eligible for state government’s welfare programmes,” Babu Rao, CPI state general Secretary told TNM.
The state government has agreed to provide life insurance coverage, including a 2-lakh accident insurance policy for Anganwadi workers and helpers. Further, the state government will bear the cremation charges of Rs 20,000 of Anganwadi workers in case of death.
The age limit for the promotion of Anganwadi helpers to workers has been increased from 45 years to 50 years. The upper age limit for the continued service of Anganwadi workers and helpers has been set at 62 years. Travel Allowance (TA) and Dearness Allowance (DA) on a monthly and bi-monthly basis, respectively will be provided, the government said.
Another important demand of promoting mini Anganwadi centres to main centres which also means promoting the mini-workers into main workers has also been addressed. Gratuity will also be implemented by providing Rs 1.20 lakh to Anganwadi workers and Rs 60,000 to helpers who complete 62 years of age in the state.
Since December 12, about a lakh Anganwadi employees have been on strike demanding better wages and working conditions. The protests continued even after the government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and detained workers several times.
Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned about Rs 80 crores to the Anganwadi centres to cover rents, maintenance expenses, including painting walls and minor repairs.
With inputs from IANS