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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 14, April 1, 2023

5000 Anganwadi, Mid-day Meal, ASHA Scheme Workers demand regularisation, minimum wages and status as Govt employees | AITUC Press release March 28, 2023

Saturday 1 April 2023


Press Statement released by the platform of scheme workers affiliated to AITUC

28.03.2023, New Delhi:



National ASHA Workers Federation, All India Anganwadi Workers Federation, and All India Mid-day Meal Workers Federation

More than five thousand Scheme Workers - Anganwadi, Mid-day Meal, ASHA Workers, and Block Facilitators from across the country and UMED W workers from Maharashtra – converged at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi today. All women workers, from the nook and corner of the country came to participate in the rally organised by the Platform of Scheme Workers of AITUC. They demanded status of a Government Employee and till such time, minimum rates of wages, social security, and maternity benefits among other demands. Separate charters of their demands are attached herewith.

They are designated and relegated as “scheme workers”. A scheme is typically designed to be time-bound. But the work they do is essential, eternal, permanent and perennial. They provide vital services to communities across India, and their work is not limited to a specific time period or mission. They are the nodal point of implementation of all the schemes of the states and the union government related to primary Health, Nutrition, Women, Child Care and Self Help Groups.

It is because of the commendable work of the ASHA Workers that India’s Maternal Mortality Rate, Infant Mortality Rate have improved. It is because of the Anganwadi Workers and the Midday Meal Workers the school drop-out rate could be combated. It is this section that has ensured advancement of the basic health care to millions of women and children and overall improvement of the social welfare system. UMED Workers are facilitating the empowerment of Women.

When the COVID-19 pandemic had put immense pressure on the healthcare system, it was the ASHA, Anganwadi and Mid-day Meal Workers who were at the forefront, working tirelessly to ensure that people received the care they needed, often at great personal risk. Their contributions to the fight against the pandemic was never adequately acknowledged and appreciated by the government even when the WHO conferred the award of Global Health Leaders to the ASHA workers.

Their demand for regularising their employment is justified and genuine and commensurate with the role they play and the responsibilities that they undertake. The Platform of Scheme Workers of AITUC stays determined to carry forward more intensified struggles till their demands are met.

Our delegation from each Federation will meet the respective Union Ministers - ASHA to meet the Minister for Health; Anganwadi, Minister for Women and Child Welfare, the Mid-day Meal Workers, the Minister for Education and UMED - the Minister for Rural Development to present their respective memorandum.

Comrade Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary, AITUC inaugurated the rally. MPs from the opposition parties such as the CPI (Binoy Vishwam) DMK (M. Shanmugam) addressed the rally and extended their support. Com.(Dr.) Bhalchandra Kango, CPI Secretary, Sukumar Damle, President, M.R.Anganwadi-Balwadi Karmachari Union also addressed the rally.

A delegation comprising of Com. Vahidha Nizam (National Secretary, AITUC), Shyam Kale of MDM Workers Federation and UMED Workers Union, Mangal Pande of ASHA Federation, Adv. Madhuri Kshirsagar of Anganwadi Workers Federation, accompanied by Com. K. Subbarayan, MP (CPI) met Smt. Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, who agreed to the demands presented, but was categorical that it was Shri Narendra Modi, who would decide finally about the demands!

The delegation was slated to visit the Health Minister, Education Minister and the Minister of Rural Development, when this press handout was prepared.

Vahidha Nizam
National ASHA Workers Federation,
Adv. Madhuri Kshirsagar
All India Anganwadi Workers Federation
Shyam Kale
All India Mid-day Meal Workers Federation & UMED Workers Union Mob: 9175373004

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