Image Source:United News of India
Hundreds of Anganwadi workers protested on the 15th of September in Karnataka. The workers protested against the decision to divide the departments of child-care and pre-schooling. The workers said that the announcement and decision to integrate these centres is a waste of public money and application of immense efforts for the Anganwadi workers. There are different Anganwadi protests ongoing in Karnataka.
Who are the Anganwadi workers?
Anganwadi is a rural child care centre in India started by the Indian government in 1975 to fight malnutrition and sickness in Children. These centres provide healthcare facilities. They form an integral part of the Indian public health care system. They provide counselling, nutrition education and healthcare facilities for children and women. They also conduct activities for pre-school children.
According to reports, there are 13.87 lakh Anganwadi centres and sub-centres. The workers and staff in these centres are women from impoverished families. They do not have benefits like other government employees. The operations of these centres are being digitalised across various states. Workers are trained according to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation.
Protests in Karnataka
The Anganwadi workers protested in Virudhunagar on Wednesday. The workers urged the district bodies to stop the installation of cameras in the centres. Installing cameras would invade the privacy of lactating mothers. Cameras are installed in six centres. A teacher and staff of Srivilliputhur said that many women visit the centres in sleepwear. Some of them breastfeed their children. Sometimes, women are given medicines. The installation of cameras at various points would make these women feel uncomfortable.
The district president, P Esther Rani, advised that a camera can be placed at a table and turned to the other side. The officials can visit the centres to interact with the children anytime. The efforts of negotiation went in vain.
Protests in Bangalore and Hubballi
The Anganwadi workers protested at the Freedom Park in Bengaluru. They are demanding an increase in salaries of Anganwadi workers and staff. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra mentioned and assured their demands during the assembly election campaign in Belagavi. The workers are demanding Rs 15,000 Salary for Anganwadi workers, Rs 10,000 salary for helpers, Rs 3 lakh for retired workers and Rs 2 lakh for retired helpers.
Calcutta High Court law for Anganwadi Workers
The division bench of the Calcutta High Court said that for any disruption caused by an Anganwadi worker in the operations, the authorities can issue such cases in the name of public interest.
An Anganwadi worker requested the Court to transfer her to another Anganwadi Centre. The lawyer representing the worker argued that the provision for transfer is not mentioned in the memorandum issued by the government bodies.The Court of Law dismissed her request and said that the operations of the centre were disrupted due to the negligence of the worker. The council said, that the centres cannot function without the services of these workers. If the workers do not work efficiently, the authorities cannot be silent spectators to their actions.