Mangaluru, Nov 02, 2015: As per reports, H.S. Sunanda, secretary of the Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Association, said on Sunday that the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme would be badly hit as the Union government had drastically slashed its grant for the scheme. She was speaking after inaugurating the first district-level anganwadi workers conference, organised by the association, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), at Ambedkar Bhavan.
Assn Secretary Sunanda said that the proper implementation of the scheme required at least Rs. 26,000 crore. But the Union government had, in its budget for the current fiscal, had allotted only Rs. 9,391 crore. At least 66 schemes aimed at social welfare were earlier being financed by the Union government. But now the Centre had transferred 33 of its previous centrally-sponsored schemes to the States without proper financial allocation.
The government was planning to privatise anganwadis in the State in phases on the reasoning that it would be easier for the private sector to provide nutritious food. Instead of privatisation, the government should provide good quality food to the anganwadis to tackle malnutrition. The Union government had launched the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign. But how is it possible to save and educate the girl child when the Centre is slashing funds of the ICDS and other social security schemes? she questioned.
Nearly 66 lakh women were working as anganwadi workers, midday meal workers and junior health assistants throughout the country but so far they were not even being paid the minimum wages properly, she said. The government should regularise the services of all anganwadi workers who had worked for 40 years and should not privatise anganwadis, she added.
Provident funds and other social security benefits should be made available to anganwadi workers. The association would gherao the houses of all MPs in the State, demanding better financial allocation by the Centre to social welfare schemes, in February, 2016, Sunanda said.