A Thunderbolt from the sky..A thunderbolt that could make change.A Thunderbolt that will tear apart the black clouds of imperialism and communalism that had covered India.Yes change is inevitable..Change will Come..
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.
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. .
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
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.