DHUBRI: Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Health Mission (NHM), MDM jointly called for a nationwide strike today, protesting against government deprivation by grassroots employees of some of the country’s largest schemes run by the central government.
ICDS employees ‘Anganwadi workers and helpers’, NHM employees ‘Ashas’ and MDM employees ‘Cooks’ are instructed to make the strike a success in Assam. There are 16 million such employees in our country 2 lakh 67 thousand in Assam.
The various types of behaviour being announced by the government for the care of children and women for doing real implementation work but the government does not pay wages or salaries to these employees. They are serving the public welfare for a small amount of money.
The Central Government gives Rs 4,500 per month to an Anganwadi worker of ICDS, Rs 2250 to the assistant, Rs 3000 per month to an ASHA and MDM gives only Rs 1,000 per month to a cooking staff.
Similarly, there is no medical support for these employees, retirement does not provide any benefit. Asha and Anganwadi workers have been leading all the work given by the Department of Health and Department of Industrial Management in the unusual situation caused by Covid’19 in 2020-21.
Many ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers have died of covid infection. The Central Government did not provide any assistance to such unfortunate families. On the contrary now the services of this scheme are being implemented by corporate NGO’s.
The employees involved in ‘Ashas’, Anganwadi helpers and cooking staff – are officially exploited, officially deprived and officially abused. The inevitable consequence of which is the discommission of these employees. The strike raised the demands protesting such exploitation, deprivation and harassment.
All Assam Mid-day Meal Employees Union and Assam State Asha Union have made a request to the ruling government to regularise employees of the concerned department, provide wages instead of standards to all employees under the scheme, pay the minimum wage at Rs 700 per day, arrange for ESI and PF facility and kindly provide retirement benefits.
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