Agitating Anganwadi workers in Odisha make charter of demands, protest put on hold until second week of February

The government of Odisha has agreed to consider the demands of protesting Anganwadi workers, who are requesting an increase in remuneration and other benefits
Picture for representation purpose only | Pic: Express
Picture for representation purpose only | Pic: Express

The government of Odisha announced yesterday, January 3, that it will consider the grievances of the Anganwadi workers in the state who have been protesting. Thousands of these workers stormed the Janpath road and headed to Naveen Niwas to present their eight-point charter of demands.

A group of six individuals who were protesting went to the Lok Seva Bhawan, a government office in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. There, they met with Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra and requested a swift resolution of their demands, which include an increase in remuneration. They reported that Suresh Chandra Mahapatra has promised that the government will address their concerns and demands. A meeting on the matter will be scheduled for next month, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

After this meeting, the representatives of the agitating Anganwadi workers said that the protest will be on hold until the second week of February.
After the meeting with the chief secretary, a delegation of the agitating workers met with the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik at his residence and thanked him for considering the grievances submitted by them.

On January 2, thousands of Anganwadi workers, who have been protesting for the past 45 days, arrived at Janpath road near Station square and conducted a sit-in on Mahatma Gandhi Marg. The members, representing the All Odisha Anganwadi Ladies Workers Association, conducted a large rally in the afternoon, blocking Janpath road and causing inconvenience to commuters, as per a report by The New Indian Express.

The police stopped the protesters on their way to Naveen Niwas and forced them to return to the protest site. Sumita Mohapatra, the president of the Anganwadi association, said that their demands include an increase in the monthly salary for workers to Rs 18,000 and for helpers to Rs 9,000. They are also requesting that all Anganwadi employees be given government status. The protesting members are also demanding retirement assistance of Rs 5 lakhs and a minimum monthly pension of Rs 5,000, the abolition of the Anganwadi worker status, and the reinstatement of Anganwadi workers who were dismissed during the 2018 protest, among other things, according to a report by The New Indian Express.

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