Skip to main content

Govt of India, state govts "fail" to redress pathetic condition of 60 lakh welfare workers

By Sheshu Babu*
While major contribution to implementation of social welfare schemes is through social volunteers and anganwadis, nurses, teachers, etc., their economic and social condition remains pathetic. Their problems have not been addressed either by governments or other welfare organizations for many years.
Indeed, social and economic progress depends upon providing basic services. The teachers, Anganwadi workers, nurses, panchayat secretaries or PWD employees are crucial for services like basic schooling, childcare and nutrition, health counseling, etc. Their need in rural areas is very much especially in helping poor and the needy. But they are grossly underpaid and even their services devalued by the government or public.
For instance, there are about 14 lakh anganwadi workers in the country providing health and nutrition services to over eight crore beneficiaries. Even though their services are significant, they are given 'honorary' payment. In most states, they are paid about Rs 5,000 per month which is lower than minimum wage prescribed for government employees. Even the salaries are delayed or paid irregularly.
A study of six states by Center for Equity Studies (2016) revealed that 35% of the workers did not receive their previous month's salaries, 50% felt that funds they received for running day-to-day activities of center were inadequate and 40% reported spending their own money to keep the center's activities going.
Similarly, though teachers are paid around Rs 50,000, the recruitment is low. Various governments do not fill vacancies and they resort to some form of contract or part-time teachers, whose payment is at places as low as Rs 3,700. In Gujarat, a case filed showed that some teachers have not even paid minimum wages. Despite a Gujarat High Court order, the grim situation continues. The Supreme Court has not delivered final verdict for four years. 
In Madhya Pradesh, a nurse staff at the Nutrition Rehabilitation was paid Rs 10,000, though the work included night shifts. Information on such incidents is not in the public domain.

Pathetic conditions

The workers face innumerable obstacles. The pathetic condition of the workers reflects in their daily struggles. Their grievances are never addressed and they have to pacify bureaucrats as well as public in times of crises. The training is often poor and there is no accountability. Their constant reporting to higher-ups creates tensions and constant hostility. Lack of training leads to inefficient performance.
Though the website of the ministry of women and child development provides for insurance and maternity leave benefits, none of the provisions have been implemented. The workers are also over-burdened with other jobs like election duty and survey fr government departments.
The future of these 'marginalised' workers seems to be grim. There was not much to cheer about in budget of February 2018. They are part of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme which is the world's largest.
The All-India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) has expressed its unhappiness against the present government and organized strikes for increase in wages and working condition last year. Over 60 lakh scheme workers including anganwadi workers and helpers voiced their strong disappointment with meagre allocation of finance.
Their struggle for better living condition is still continuing and government has not done much to redress their grievances. As their work is of prime importance, they should be provided with adequate financial facilities and social assistance.
---
*Writer from everywhere and anywhere is interested in social justice

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?