For the last two weeks, Anganwadi workers and helpers in Jammu and Kashmir have been protesting against the administration’s order to release their honorarium through sarpanches. This time the workers from across the state – Jammu region, Kashmir region and Kargil – made an unequivocal demand for the immediate revocation of order, failing which they have threatened to launch a massive agitation. Earlier this month, J&K administration had announced its decision for decentralisation of disbursement of honorarium to Anganwadi workers and helpers under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme through gram panchayats and councillors.
As per PTI, it was announced that gram panchayats will monitor and supervise the functioning of Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) and will release honorarium after being satisfied with their functioning. The workers strongly rejected the order and warned the authorities to immediately withdraw this controversial order. A protesting worker from Jammu, requesting anonymity said, “This order is aimed to humiliate us. We don’t want a few unknown men to be responsible for giving us the salaries only if they feel satisfied with our work just because they are sarpanches. This is alarming. After working day in and out, you want us to beg to these men for releasing our salaries?”
Tasleema Subhaan, State President, Anganwadi Workers’ and Helpers’ Association JK (AWHA) said, “We will continue to protest until the order is rolled back. Just think about it, we will do the work and the money will go into someone else’s account. We are a 100% women workforce and we don’t want to be led by unknown men. We are not here to please anyone but to do our work and get paid for that.”
The protesters asserted that their services have been utilised for other activities including election duties, helping people with Aadhar card, polio vaccination, verification of ration cards and others.
Also watch: Anganwadi Workers in Kashmir Not Paid Since 9 Months
In addition, the workers alleged that they have not been paid since the last 9 months. Another protester said, “We never get salary on time but our work should be on point and on time. It has been months since we are waiting for our salaries. We protested and raised our voice but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. We request governor sahib to listen to us and rollback this order.”