Chandigarh, July 1: “The Punjab Government under the leadership of the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh is fully committed to the welfare of Anganwadi Workers as well as the helpers and considers the framing of policies and creation of infrastructure amenable to them as an article of faith.”
These views were reiterated by the Social Security, Women & Child Development Minister, Punjab, Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary here today while meeting the representatives of the various Anganwadi Workers Unions’ namely All Punjab Anganwadi Mulazam Union, Anganwadi Mulazam Union Punjab (CITU) and All India Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union, Punjab (AITUC).
The minister gave a very patient hearing to all the demands put forward by the Unions and said that she is all for the release of the emoluments of the Anganwadi Workers as well as the Helpers besides Creche Workers in a timely and regular fashion. Regarding the demand of ensuring the sending of children of 3-6 years of age, admitted into the Govt Schools in Pre-Primary classes, into the Anganwadi Centres the minister assured to take up the matter soon with the School Education Department.
Mrs. Chaudhary further reiterated that as regarding the demand pertaining to extending the Social Security and Healthcare benefits such as ESI, PPF to the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, she would take up the matter emphatically with the Secretary, Health Department. In response to the demand of providing financial benefit of Rs. 200 to every Worker and Rs. 100 to every Helper assisting the pregnant women filling up form and other formalities, the minister gave assurance to consider the issue with sympathy and take it up with the Finance Department.
The minister also divulged that as concerns the various other demands advanced by the Unions’ such as the providing of increased emoluments to the Anganwadi Workers at the rate of Rs. 1500 and Helpers at the rate of Rs. 750, Fixing the travel allowance at Rs. 200, Taking 8 Blocks out of the ambit of the Advisory Board and Child Welfare Board Council and bringing them under the State Government, Announcing of Mini Centres as the Main ones, Recruitment of Supervisors from amongst the Anganwadi Workers only and Mutual Transfers of the Workers as well as the Helpers, all these would be considered with an open and positive mind.
Mrs. Chaudhary also directed that the quality of food and ration items at all the centers must be maintained and that no laxity on this count would be tolerated. The minister also batted emphatically for the course modernization at all the Anganwadi Centres in Punjab so as to make sure that the Workers/Helpers learns new age techniques of their working as per the changing times.
Directing the convening of such meetings quarterly, the minister also announced the changing of the times of all the Anganwadi Centres from 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM till the 15th of July in order to give staff some respite from the scorching summer heat.
Among others present in the meeting included the Principal Secretary, Social Security, Women & Child Development Department, Punjab, Mrs. Raji P. Srivastava, Director Mrs. Gurpreet Kaur Sapra, State President All Punjab Anagnwadi Mulazam Union Mrs. Hargobind Kaur, and President of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Usha Rani.