A large number of anganwadi workers and helpers staged a demonstration here on Wednesday to press for enhancement of their remuneration and payment of minimum wages.
The demonstrators, affiliated with the Jammu and Kashmir Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union (AWHU), assembled at Press Enclave, and demanded formulation of a pension scheme and withdrawal of attempts to privatise the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
The protesters also demanded regularisation of their services as Class 3 and 4 employees and an immediate increase in their honorarium to `5,000 and `4,000 per month respectively.
They also pressed for release of training grants in favour of the workers and helpers, and release of travel and dearness allowance for attending different meetings like pulse polio and AIDS awareness programmes.
AWHU president Naseema Kuchay said the grass-root workers of ICDS scheme should be entitled to decent standard of living.
"A standing mechanism must be put in place in ministry of women and child development for revision in the honorarium of anganwadi workers and helpers," said Kuchay, adding, "Anganwadi workers and helpers should be covered by the employee provident fund and the Employee's State Insurance Act for regularisation of their services as a government employee. Anganwadi centres must be made nodal centers to impart pre-school education."
Meanwhile, Centre of Indian Trade Union general secretary Om Prakash Sharma expressed concern over the plight of anganwadi workers and helpers and urged the government to concede to their demands at the earliest.