Funds sought to revamp anganwadis

Pune division has sought funds from the state government to improve anganwadis that cater to around 11.84 lakh children in the division. There are around 15,000 anganwadis that do not have proper building infrastructure.

Pune divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh has said there is malnutrition among children anganwadis cater to, and at least 10 per cent is underweight. "To address the problem and give nutritious food to the children and provide proper infrastructure to anganwadis there needs to be better construction of anganwadis in the division. We are demanding funds from the state to provide better infrastructure," said Deshmukh.

In the division, there are several demands from anganwadi workers, like anganwadi helpers not getting their dues. Shubha Shamim, state secretary of the Anganwadi Karmachari Sanghtana affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has been demanding retirement benefits for anganwadi workers and helpers. The women who work as anganwadi workers get Rs 4,050 and sevikas get Rs 2,000 as honorarium. They do not get any other benefits.

Shamim said the state Finance department citing non-permanent nature of their jobs had rejected a proposal made by the anganwadi unions to given retirement benefit of Rs 1 lakh to workers and Rs 75,000 to helpers (sevikas). The department had said that giving them retirement benefits would call into question the issue of all other workers employed on honorarium.

The issue of anganwadi workers was to come up before the state cabinet. The matter of the state matching centre's contribution has also not been addressed as yet.

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