Aaj Desh Mein Ek Aisi Sarkar Hai Jo Mahilayon Ki Samaseyaon Ko Smajhne Ka Lagatar Pryas Kar Rahi Hai: PM Modi
Then why MoW&CD is still saying “In view of role of Anganwari Workers making them regular employees not feasible”
Mehilayon Ke Mudde Bhajpa Keliye Chunabi Mudde Nahin Hain Balke Bhajpa Ki Har Yojna Ka Praantatv Hain: MODI
It has to be accepted that the job assigned to the Anganwari Workers is surely not worth taking it (i) like a casual job and expecting that rural women would ‘voluntarily’ come forward to take up the job on honorarium basis ( that too very meagre) and (ii) that even after Anganwari Centre ‘Scheme’ has been now 47 year old still the basic health & education status of majority of Indian masses still may be needing such socio economic support from the government for few more decades. Union Minister of Women and Child Development (MoW&CD), Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on 23-03-2022 has been quoted as having said that Anganwari Services Scheme Anganwari Services (renamed as Saksham Anganwari and Poshan 2.0), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented by States/UTs is providing a package of six services through a network of 7075 fully operational Projects, had as on June 2021 13.89 lakh AWCs being operated with services provided by 13.14 lakhs Anganwari Workers and 11.74 Anganwari Helpers to 906.17 lakh beneficiaries of which 736.91 lakh are children under six and 169.26 lakh are pregnant women & lactating mothers where till June 2021, a total number of 200.44 lakh children of 3-6 years were covered under pre-school education of which 102.40 lakhs were boys and 98.04 lakhs were girls. Minister did add that government had focus on making the programme more effective. Since the AWWs/AWHs have to be women it could be said that about 25 Lakh women/ girls have in Jume 2021 working in the AWCs, 169.26 lakh pregnant women & lactating mothers were being looked after along with imparting pre-school education to 98.04 Lakh where till June 2021, a total number of 200.44 lakh children of 3-6 years were covered under pre-school education of which 102.40 lakhs were boys and 98.04 lakhs 3-6 yr old. girl child. So all the affected community due to low wages and insecure job is of Woman folk who have to work as full time workers.
Let us once again have a look at the job profile of the Anganwari Workers through the “Bulk” of records and registers that a AWW is required to build & maintain i.eoFamily Register oSupplementary Food Stock Register oSupplementary Food Distribution Register oPre-School Education Register oPregnancy and Delivery Register oImmunisation and Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND) oVitamin A Biannual Rounds Register oHome Visits Planner oReferrals oSummaries (Monthly & Annual) oWeight Records of Children. Is not the role important and regular. The work profile & responsibility level canno be way be said to be less than a Jr. Clerk/ Jr Assistant working as regular employee in a government department who is in the pay scale Level-4 as per VII Pay Commission. Even peon in regular grade is paid much more than a AWW. In December 2022 some Multitasking Staff (Orderlies) have been appointed in the Social Welfare Department carrying Pay Level of SL-1 (14800-47100) who shall be getting min around Rs. 22998/=pm (14800xwith 38% DA+ 9 % min HRA , Rs.900×1.38 TPA i.e 20424 + 1332 +1242= 22998)} to start with along with job security and social securities like additional entitlement for Rs.2250 per child/pm as education allowance & Rs.6750 / child /pm Hostel subsidy allowance ( max 2 children). Where asa AWW is presently paid an honorarium of only Rs. 4500 per month by GOI and some States/ UTs pay additionally also some amount. To quote NCT Delhi said in Feb 2022 to have increased (including allowances) total payment to Anganwari Workers from Rs. 9678 to Rs.12,720 / PM and for the Anganwari Helper from Rs.4839 to Rs.6,810.As per private sources Rs 6,500 /pm are paid in Chhattisgarh to AWW ( need confirmation).
Surely it is the AWW on whom depends the success of the ‘Anganwari Scheme’ and the future of the children of 0-6 yrs of economically weaker parents living in rural / sub-urban / urban slums and in case the AWWs/ AWHs remain under economic stresses as well as social strains it is very much doubted that they would be able to perform their duty effectively that need emotional inputs as well as physical inputs from their side.
So, the honorarium being paid to AWWs and AWHs is unreasonably low looking at the level of responsibility and nature of duty assigned to them in greater community interests which is no way less than the job assigned even to a Jr assistant in ministerial cadres.
To be Continued
(The author is Sr Journalist, social activist and analyst J&K affairs [email protected])