Sunday, November 4, 2012

Anganwadi Workers paint the city of Mysore to Red

Anganawadi workers of the Karnataka painted the city of Mysore to red today by taking out a mammoth procession dressed in red sarees, white blouses and red caps from the Gun House Circle to the Scouts and Guides ground, the venue of the fifth State-level convention of Anganawadi workers that began this afternoon and will be held for three days.

The colourful procession, consisting of more than 6,000 women volunteers drawn from all over the State, passed through Maharaja Sanskrit College, Chamaraja Double Road, Ramaswamy Circle, Ekalavya Circle and Krishnaraja Boulevard, to reach the Scouts and Guides grounds behind the DC’s office in city.

The three-day convention was formally inaugurated by CPI(M) PB Member Com Brinda Karat, at the specially erected Comrade M.K. Pandhe Nagar. General Secretary of All India Anganawadi Workers’ Association K. Hemalatha, CITU State President V.G.K. Nair, Rangayana’s former Director C. Basavalingaiah, former Legislator and CPI(M) State Secretary G.V. Srirama Reddy, CITU General Secretary S. Prasanna Kumar, Karnataka State Anganawadi Workers’ Association General Secretary S. Varalakshmi and others participated in the function. The convention is presided over by the President of State Anganawadi Workers’ Association, Shantha N. Ghanti.
Comrade Brinda Karat criticised the Congress and the BJP for ignoring the condition of anganwadi workers, who implement all the welfare programmes of the government at the grass roots. Com. Brinda said though the Committee on Empowerment of Women comprising members of Parliament recommended that the workers be accorded the status of government employees, the UPA government rejected the proposal. 

Describing the Congress and the BJP as two sides of a “fake coin,” Ms. Karat said both parties pursued the same policy of ‘appeasing the rich, the mining barons and the land mafia’ and had no concern for the working class people. “While more than Rs. 5 lakh crore has been given away by way of tax concessions, etc. to the rich and the wealthy in last year’s budget, the government says it has no money to increase the emoluments of the anganwadi workers from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 10,000, provide pensionary benefits and bonus as recommended by the Empowerment Committee,” said Ms. Karat. While the Congress rejected the proposal, even the main Opposition remained silent on the issue, she added.

The anganwadi women were employed in 36 categories of services, including implementation of the Integrated Child Development Scheme which was critical in the battle against malnutrition. “The struggle to strengthen and economically empower the anganwadi workers is linked to the struggle against malnutrition and poverty,” she said. .
The malnutrition level in rural Karnataka was as high as 61 per cent, said Ms. Karat, but the BJP government had not strengthened the hands of the anganwadi workers. “The struggle of the anganwadi workers is also linked to fighting the wrong policies of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre and the BJP in the State which are fuelling price rise, inflation and poverty,” she added. 

K. Hemalatha, general secretary, All India Anganwadi Workers Association, flayed the State government for outsourcing some of the functions of the anganwadi centres by tying up with corporate houses and companies. “This would put a question mark on the very existence of the anganwadi centres,” she added.

The three-day conference is being attended by 430 delegates from across the State, apart from national leaders.
In the coming two days, seminars will be held at Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry on Vinobha Road, in which problems being faced by the Anganawadi workers and their demands would be discussed in detail. Their demands include regularisation of services, providing benefits on par with benefits given to State government employees and conversion of Anganawadi Centres into care-taking centres for pregnant women, children below the age of six years and strengthening of the Anganawadi Centres to become Child Welfare Centres, besides conversion of Anganawadi Centres into centres for educating children.

No comments:

Post a Comment