People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 13, 2007
Anganwadi Employees Court Arrest In Delhi
AROUND ten thousand anganwadi workers and helpers from all over the country broke the barricades and courted arrest on May 8, 2007 at the Parliament Road police station in New Delhi demanding implementation of the assurances given by the prime minister on August 3 last year. MK Pandhe, president of CITU, Tapan Sen, MP and secretary of CITU, Dipankar Mukherjee, secretary of CITU, Neelima Maitra, president, Hemalata, general secretary, and AR Sindhu, treasurer of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers led the march to parliament and also courted arrest.
Pandhe, Tapan Sen, Dipankar Mukherjee, Hemalata along with Shantashree Chatterjee, Sati Devi, Sujata, Dr Babu Rao, all members of parliament addressed the meeting and supported the struggle of the anganwadi employees before the march began. Neelima Maitra presided over the meeting. The MPs promised to raise the demands of the anganwadi employees inside the parliament. The speakers condemned the attitude of the government which never hesitated to forego lakhs of crores of rupees in the form of concessions to the corporates but pleaded lack of resources of only Rs 3,500 crores to fulfil the demands of the anganwadi employees, who are instrumental in the development of the children – the future citizens of the country.
Addressing the gathering in the Parliament Road police station, which was jam-packed with the anganwadi employees, even while many of them were still pouring in, Pandhe warned the government that if the genuine demands of the anganwadi employees were not fulfilled, the struggle would be further intensified.
It is to be recalled that the prime minister had assured a delegation of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers, led by MPs Sitaram Yechury, Tapan Sen, Basudeb Acharia, Late Chittabrata Majumdar on August 3, 2006 that the remuneration of the anganwadi workers and helpers would be increased and those who were being asked to ‘retire’ would be given a ‘parting gift’. But no action has been taken till date to fulfil these assurances. INN