Anganwadi workers stage protest

Agitators ask the government to withdraw GO Nos. 41 and 42

Visakha City, February 19, 2010

Hundreds of workers and helpers of Anganwadi staged a dharna in front of the Collectorate on Friday asking the government to withdraw GO Nos. 41 and 42 as they would undermine the aims of ICDS and lead to insecurity to their jobs. The dharna was organized by the district committee of the CITU affiliated AP Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union as part of a State wide protest programme.

The dharna lasted for nearly four hours and the police force was present in large numbers to prevent any untoward incidents. Since the police action on Mid Day Meal scheme workers sparked off strong protests and criticism there were many woman police constables on duty and no effort was made to disperse them. The Anganwadi workers too did not make any attempt to storm the Collectorate though the programme was termed 'Collectorate Muttadi'. District committee president P Venkatalakshmi, general secretary G Kumari, honorary president M Dhanalakshmi and other leaders addressed the participants and criticized the government for trying to implement the two GOs which were put on hold in the face of strong protests before the Assembly elections.

The leaders accused the government of taking advantage of the present political crisis to hand over the Integrated Child Development Scheme to Gram panchayats, as the beneficiaries would stand to lose a lot. Instead of Anganwadis distributing food to children, the government was planning to hand over the responsibility to the NGOs of SHGs. The Gram Panchayats would have the power under the GO to remove Anganwadi workers on the plea of unsatisfactory services.

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