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Labour India

UP: Anganwadi workers demand payment for election duties

Three phases of the UP Assembly Elections have concluded, yet Anganwadi workers on polling duty say they are yet to receive payment for their services

Vallari Sanzgiri 21 Feb 2022

Uttar pradesh election

The third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly election polling took place on February 20, 2022. This time polling was conducted in many Scheduled Caste (SC) dominant constituencies including Hathras, where an adolescent girl was sexually assaulted by many dominant-caste men. With nearly 60 constituencies spread across 16 districts, workers on election duty had their work cut out for this crucial phase of state elections. Yet, anganwadi workers told SabrangIndia that they received no remuneration for their work. This includes workers who gave their time and labour during earlier polling days as well.

Workers in Ward 1 of Hathras district were unhappy with the short notice for their election duty. One Anganwadi worker (who did not want to be named) said they were informed about their work a day before they were called for training. The women were told they were listed for polling duty and asked to arrive in the respective training location with photos for their identification documents.

“I worked from around 6 AM to 6 PM, checking people’s temperature and making sure they sanitised themselves before entering the polling area,” said the worker. She said that they were instructed by the health department to do the work although they did not receive any intimation about payment for their labour.

Similarly, anganwadi workers said they were not reimbursed or paid for travelling across constituencies to do their work. The woman speaking to SabrangIndia said that these troubled workers were employed within their constituency as well because they still had to walk to the polling areas and leave behind dependents like their children and elderly. More than anything, the worker expressed anger at how anganwadi workers’ work went unacknowledged, not even getting water or food unlike other polling officers.

“The teachers had tiffins arranged for them. Even CRP officers had tiffins or food but we did not. On top of that, for all this, we are not even being paid," she said, asking, "In the first place, we deal with the ICDS, so why are we made to engage in government work?”

Under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Anganwadi workers ensure the nutrition, health and overall development of children until the age of six years and pregnant women. During the pandemic, they were also in-charge of ensuring that families received their ration. During election season, workers were forced to turn their attention towards polling duties instead.

According to Mahila Anganwadi Karamchari Sangh (MAKS) member Dr. Veena Gupta, such complaints have flared up from every Anganwadi community where polling took place.

“Nobody has been paid for their work in UP. The administrations did not even bother covering the travel expenses of those people who had to work outside their constituencies. Some workers complained that they missed their chance to vote because of this,” said Gupta.

Uttar pradesh election

She also lamented the demoralised state of Anganwadi workers who did not challenge the added election work. Even when Unions tried to discourage them, workers still went to work, allegedly for fear of the current regime.

Meanwhile, another anganwadi worker (who did not want to be named) said she is still waiting for her election during payment despite working during the second phase of assembly election. Working at a polling area in Rampur, the worker said she was to receive only ₹670 for helping voters find their name in the concerned list. Having worked as an Anganwadi worker for nearly nine years, she said her community people never received proper food or travel services. However, she expected to receive her money nonetheless.She said, “Last time, we received around ₹700 for election work. This time it’s less than that, but we haven’t received that either. A person should be paid according to the work they have put in!”

The woman received around ₹6,000 for her work as a booth-level officer prior to the election. However, it still falls short when considering that she has not received her salary worth four months as an anganwadi worker.

“The last payment I received was in January worth two months of work. But more salary is still pending. In the first place, ₹1,500 for a month is too little. The government should revise our payment. At the most ₹18,000 a month will help us a lot,” she said.

Unions like the MAKS and others have written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as well as the Election Commission about workers’ grievances. However, with no response from either authorities, Gupta said that people remain unmotivated to voice their troubles further.

Related:

BJP’s Mirzapur candidate says he does not want "impure votes"
Assembly elections: Over 67 percent voter turnout in Haridwar, Saharanpur
UP CM Adityanath targeting minorities again?
Hate Offender:  BJP MLA  . Raja Singh threatens Uttar Pradesh’s Hindu voters

UP: Anganwadi workers demand payment for election duties

Three phases of the UP Assembly Elections have concluded, yet Anganwadi workers on polling duty say they are yet to receive payment for their services

Uttar pradesh election

The third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly election polling took place on February 20, 2022. This time polling was conducted in many Scheduled Caste (SC) dominant constituencies including Hathras, where an adolescent girl was sexually assaulted by many dominant-caste men. With nearly 60 constituencies spread across 16 districts, workers on election duty had their work cut out for this crucial phase of state elections. Yet, anganwadi workers told SabrangIndia that they received no remuneration for their work. This includes workers who gave their time and labour during earlier polling days as well.

Workers in Ward 1 of Hathras district were unhappy with the short notice for their election duty. One Anganwadi worker (who did not want to be named) said they were informed about their work a day before they were called for training. The women were told they were listed for polling duty and asked to arrive in the respective training location with photos for their identification documents.

“I worked from around 6 AM to 6 PM, checking people’s temperature and making sure they sanitised themselves before entering the polling area,” said the worker. She said that they were instructed by the health department to do the work although they did not receive any intimation about payment for their labour.

Similarly, anganwadi workers said they were not reimbursed or paid for travelling across constituencies to do their work. The woman speaking to SabrangIndia said that these troubled workers were employed within their constituency as well because they still had to walk to the polling areas and leave behind dependents like their children and elderly. More than anything, the worker expressed anger at how anganwadi workers’ work went unacknowledged, not even getting water or food unlike other polling officers.

“The teachers had tiffins arranged for them. Even CRP officers had tiffins or food but we did not. On top of that, for all this, we are not even being paid," she said, asking, "In the first place, we deal with the ICDS, so why are we made to engage in government work?”

Under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Anganwadi workers ensure the nutrition, health and overall development of children until the age of six years and pregnant women. During the pandemic, they were also in-charge of ensuring that families received their ration. During election season, workers were forced to turn their attention towards polling duties instead.

According to Mahila Anganwadi Karamchari Sangh (MAKS) member Dr. Veena Gupta, such complaints have flared up from every Anganwadi community where polling took place.

“Nobody has been paid for their work in UP. The administrations did not even bother covering the travel expenses of those people who had to work outside their constituencies. Some workers complained that they missed their chance to vote because of this,” said Gupta.

Uttar pradesh election

She also lamented the demoralised state of Anganwadi workers who did not challenge the added election work. Even when Unions tried to discourage them, workers still went to work, allegedly for fear of the current regime.

Meanwhile, another anganwadi worker (who did not want to be named) said she is still waiting for her election during payment despite working during the second phase of assembly election. Working at a polling area in Rampur, the worker said she was to receive only ₹670 for helping voters find their name in the concerned list. Having worked as an Anganwadi worker for nearly nine years, she said her community people never received proper food or travel services. However, she expected to receive her money nonetheless.She said, “Last time, we received around ₹700 for election work. This time it’s less than that, but we haven’t received that either. A person should be paid according to the work they have put in!”

The woman received around ₹6,000 for her work as a booth-level officer prior to the election. However, it still falls short when considering that she has not received her salary worth four months as an anganwadi worker.

“The last payment I received was in January worth two months of work. But more salary is still pending. In the first place, ₹1,500 for a month is too little. The government should revise our payment. At the most ₹18,000 a month will help us a lot,” she said.

Unions like the MAKS and others have written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as well as the Election Commission about workers’ grievances. However, with no response from either authorities, Gupta said that people remain unmotivated to voice their troubles further.

Related:

BJP’s Mirzapur candidate says he does not want "impure votes"
Assembly elections: Over 67 percent voter turnout in Haridwar, Saharanpur
UP CM Adityanath targeting minorities again?
Hate Offender:  BJP MLA  . Raja Singh threatens Uttar Pradesh’s Hindu voters

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