Govt issues ultimatum to agitating anganwadi workers

Bhubaneswar: Two days after announcing a 50% hike in the honorarium of anganwadi workers, the state government on Thursday toughened its stand against the faction continuing with the indefinite strike and asked them resume service by Friday evening.

Women and Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal issued an ultimatum and said the government will explore alternatives if they failed to do so. “We have decided to wait till tomorrow evening since today being Kali Puja is holiday. We see which anganwadi groups rejoin work. We will then arrange for a discussion with those not ready to join and if they fail to do so after that, we will rope in SHGs or give multiple responsibilities to other angwanwadi centres,” he said.

Those, who fail to join work, for the next three days will be automatically disengaged, he added.

The agitating anganwadi workers under the aegis of All Odisha Anganwadi Ladies Workers Association, however, are in no mood to relent despite the ultimatum.

On Tuesday, the government had increased the monthly remuneration of Anganwadi workers to Rs 6,000 per month and that of mini-Anganwadi workers and helpers to Rs 4,125 and Rs 3,000 respectively.

While a few anganwadi associations resumed services following the pay hike announcement, many are still sticking to their demand of Rs 18,000 per month and regularization of service.

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