Maharashtra’s anganwadi workers return 80,000 faulty smartphones | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra’s anganwadi workers return 80,000 faulty smartphones

ByRupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
Sep 01, 2021 12:37 AM IST

The 2G RAM mobile phones that were given to AWs do not support Poshan Tracker. Along with the details of children, lactating mothers and pregnant women, they also have to upload photos which slow down the phone, said AWs.

Protesting against the faulty smartphones provided by the Centre in 2018, anganwadi workers (AW) across Maharashtra have returned over 80,000 such phones in the past 13 days. AWs said their protest will continue until they are provided better smartphones for uploading essential data on the centralised app Poshan Tracker.

Last month, HT had reported that owing to faulty phones and technical glitches in the app, AWs were uploading data on their own smartphones, thereby hampering the pandemic-ensued online education of their children. (FILE PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)
Last month, HT had reported that owing to faulty phones and technical glitches in the app, AWs were uploading data on their own smartphones, thereby hampering the pandemic-ensued online education of their children. (FILE PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)

The 2G RAM mobile phones that were given to AWs do not support Poshan Tracker. Along with the details of children, lactating mothers and pregnant women, they also have to upload photos which slow down the phone, said AWs.

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“We have been complaining to the central government about the technical issues that we have been facing but they don’t listen to us. So far, we have returned 80,000 such faulty mobiles to the authorities. In the next two weeks, we will return all the 150,000 mobiles that were provided to us,” said Kamal Parulekar, general secretary, Anganwadi Sevika Union.

Currently, details of malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers are being maintained offline.

“We haven’t stopped our work and are recording data in our individual registers as we did in the past. The Centre will not have any data about malnourished children, lactating mothers and pregnant women from the state as we are not uploading that information on the portal,” said Parulekar, adding, “But this is essential to make them listen to our demands.”

Last month, HT had reported that owing to faulty phones and technical glitches in the app, AWs were uploading data on their own smartphones, thereby hampering the pandemic-ensued online education of their children.

With the warranty period of the phones expired, AWs, who are paid a monthly honorarium between 4,000 and 8,000, were also being asked to pay for the smartphones’ repairs from their own pockets.

“These phones are not of a good quality. Often, the cameras malfunction or the hardware gets damaged. Repairing one phone costs between 500 and 2,000. AWs can’t afford to pay for it,” said MA Patil from Maharashtra Rajya Asha Gatpravatak Karamchari Kruti Samiti.

There have also been reports that the app infringes on the privacy of AWs as it automatically uninstalls social media apps such as Facebook, among others, without their authorisation.

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