On January 31, 2022, around 22000 Anganwadi workers and helpers associated with Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union started their protest. They are seeking recognition as government employees, higher pay, better working conditions, and social security mechanisms like health insurance and pension.
While the Anganwadi workers were getting an honorarium of Rs 9678, the helpers were getting Rs 4839. Despite the Delhi government recently raising the honorarium to Rs 11,220 for Anganwadi workers, and Rs 5,610 for helpers, the strike continues. They also complained of long working hours, and the additional work they did during the Covid-19 pandemic with no benefits or protection.
On March 9, the government imposed the Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act deeming the strike “illegal.” So far, 991 Anganwadi workers have been served termination notices.
In this podcast, Sweta Dash, a Delhi-based independent journalist and reporter speaks to the protesting women and the Delhi State Workers and Helpers Union that is leading the protest. We will hear what these women feel in these tumultuous times of government backlash and how they plan to continue their fight.