Udupi: The Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Association (CITU) has urged Udupi-Chikkamagaluru LS constituency MP Shobha Karandlaje to highlight the 50% budget cut for Integrated Child Development Services by addressing the issue in the Lok Sabha said Susheela Nada, District General Secretary at a press meet held at the Press Club here on February 5.
The scheme benefits 9 crore beneficiaries and plays a prime role in eradicating malnutrition. The ICDS mission has been playing an integral role in promoting women and child welfare, the 50% budget cut will ruin the beneficiaries at large. The union government should provide resources to boost the scheme to eradicate malnutrition. The union government in 2015-16 budget has allocated Rs 18103 crore but has now slashed it down to 8245.77 crore rupees.
28 lakh women are working in the Anganwadi either as teachers or as assistants. We are involved in election related works, surveys and women empowerment groups, but when it comes to providing facilities we are neglected by the government. The Indian Labour Association has recommended considering Anganwadi workers as employees, and has also recommended for the minimum wages.
Governments make tall promises on women empowerment but ruin them when it comes to deliverance of those promises.
ICDS should be made a separate department by providing infrastructure and financial resources. It should not be privatised, Rs 36,000 crore should be allocated in the 2016-17 budget. The Anganwadi workers should be included in 3 and 4 grade. Rs 15000 minimum wage should be fixed for Anganwadi workers according to the recommendations at the 45th ILC convection, she added.
Geetha Shetty, President of Karnataka State Anganwadi Workers Association (CITU), Ashalatha, Treasurer and others were present.