Mid Day Meal cooks cry out for salaries
Sangrur Over 43,000 Mid Day Meal cook-cum-helpers in the state are struggling to make ends meet since the lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic. They have not been paid their pay, which is Rs 1,700 per month and are unsure about July’s money coming through.
Schools again being closed only add to their woes. They also claim that the government has failed to honour a promise made to them to hike their salary at Rs 3,000 a month. Kamaljit Kaur, a MDM cook from Hoshiarpur district, said, “My husband is a labourer, who has been bed-ridden. My salary is my only sustenance.”
Bimla Rani, president, Mid-Day Meal Workers Union Punjab, said, “The government gave priority to widows for the job of cooks, but we do face problems. It is injustice that the government pays us for 10 months. Indeed, the Congress government is not paying heed towards our financial problems.”
“State education minister Vijay Inder Singla had assured us on December 14, 2019, that we will get Rs 3,000 salary per month. Nothing, however, happened,” said Harjinder Kaur, state president, Democratic Mid-day Meal Cook Front.
State School education minister Vijay Inder Singla said, “The Centre contributes 60% share of the salary of these workers. We are regularly in touch with the centre. We were promised that the funds will be transferred within a month. We hope to get the Centre’s share next week. The salaries will be deposited then.”