Delhi anganwadi workers’ monthly wages up by up to ₹3,000
Anganwadi workers, however, refused to end their strike, as they said the increase did not adequately reflect inflation levels. They also said they want their demands on their working conditions to be heard.
The Delhi government on Thursday announced that it will increase the monthly honorarium and allowance for all anganwadi workers and helpers in the Capital, as their strike — demanding better pay and improved working conditions — entered its 25th day.
However, the protesting anganwadi workers refused to end their strike, as they said the increase of ₹1,500-2,000 in their monthly pay, as announced on Thursday, did not adequately reflect inflation levels. They also said they want their demands on their working conditions to be heard, and warned of a “bigger protest” if the matter is not resolved by the end of the month.
Addressing a press conference, Delhi’s women and child development minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said the government took the decision because of rising inflation and taking cognisance of the anganwadi workers’ and helpers’ ongoing strike.
The Delhi government has increased anganwadi workers’ honorarium to ₹11,220 (up from ₹9,678 earlier) besides increasing the conveyance and communication allowance to ₹1,500 (from ₹200 earlier) Gautam said.
The honorarium for helpers has, meanwhile, been increased from ₹4,839 to ₹5,610. They will also get ₹1,200 as conveyance and communication allowance.
The increased honorarium and allowance will be paid from March this year.
Demanding higher wages, anganwadi workers and helpers, under the banner of the Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union (DSAWHU), have been on an “indefinite” strike for the past 25 days near chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence in north Delhi.
Gautam claimed the total honorarium of ₹12,720 for Anganwadi workers and ₹6,810 for helpers will be the highest in the country.
There are nearly 10,700 anganwadi centres, and over 20,000 anganwadi workers and helpers, in the city.
“A few days ago, I had a meeting with some anganwadi unions where they presented a list of their demands. We told them that we will come to a positive decision in the next seven days. Today, our government has delivered on its promise… in less than a week… the Kejriwal government is sensitive towards the demands of the anganwadi workers in these difficult times,” Gautam said.
The minister appealed to the workers and helpers and asked them to rejoin their duties. The Delhi government in 2017 increased the honorarium of anganwadi workers from ₹5,000 to ₹9,678 and that of Anganwadi helpers from ₹2,500 to ₹4,839.
DSAWHU said they did not agree with the announcements made by the Delhi government and added that their strike will continue.
Shivani Kaul, DSAWHU president, said the government did not involve protesting workers before making the decision.
“The increase in the honorarium amount is not reflective of the current inflation rate. Further, the Delhi government did not even get in touch with us before deciding the new wages. We want a point-to-point discussion with the Delhi government. How can the administration not involve those who have been on strike for 25 days in its decision making? On Friday we will organise a press conference from Civil Lines, where anganwadi workers have been sitting on strike. If our demands are not met by February 28, we will scale up our movement,” she said.