Skip to main content

BJP-AAP collusion? Delhi polls didn't deter anganwadi workers' protest for demands

By Harsh Thakor* 

Even when the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections were on, one section that seemed to feel totally neglected was the state's anganwadi workers and their helpers. Organised under the Delhi State Anganwadi Workers' and Helpers' Union, they have been campaigning for their rights ever since 22,000 of them went on a historic strike from 31st January 2022.
The 39 day strike saw the Aam Aadmi Party's Delhi government and the BJP's Central government colluding with each other, terminating it by imposing a six-month Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) through the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
Following this, the Women and Child Development Department (WCD), Delhi, terminated the services of 884 women caregivers who spearheaded the movement for participating in the strike. For most of these women workers, honorarium from anganwadi work was the only source of income as a sizeable number of them act as sole breadwinners of their families.
Union president Shivani Kaul believes, the 38-day strike not only posed challenge to the Delhi and the Central governments but also exposed the bankruptcy or futility of the entire system. The retaliation by the authorities prompted the decision of the Union to campaign for impose a complete embargo on the entry of candidates and workers of the two parties in the areas where anganwadi workers and helpers and live.
A campaign was launched in November third week about how the two parties had betrayed anganwadi workers and helpers. They pointed towards how, despite being frontline workers, they were neglected. Many of them were terrorised against any resistance.
A gherao was staged at the Kashmiri Gate on the issue of termination of 884 workers. Leaders said, AAP leader Navlendra Kumar was now issuing threat to the Union leaders, though he had earlier promised to address their demands. A protest was organised outside the office of Gautam Gambhir, a BJP leader. Slogans were raised condemning how the ruling party was hoodwinking the workers, and diverting and dividing them.
Union leaders insisted, pro-people forces should unite in exposing and confronting bankruptcy of the social system at the very base. There was a rally in Kamala Nagar area, followed by gherao of the houses of labour minister Gopal Rai and leader Naresh Balyan in Badarpur and Uttam Nagar respectively. Effigies of the two parties were burned.
Activist Priyambda narrated how the Aam Admi party was establishing a vote bank and literally paying no notice to the demands of the anganwadi workers. She recalled how during the 39 day strike of women workers the party had shown absolute apathy. In her view the AAP was in essence similar to the BJP.
---
*Freelance activist who has covered mass movements all around India

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer