New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The “large” number of vacancies in the posts of Anganwadi helpers and workers may be due to the meagre wages being paid to them, a parliamentary panel has said and “strongly” recommended that their remuneration be increased.
The salaries of AWW and AWH vary from state to state.
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Noting the reduction in grant amount from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 1 Lakh for the construction of each Anganwadi Centre, the committee said the states were not able to provide any extra money from their side and the Women and Child Development Ministry was considering requesting the Ministry of Finance to revert to the original scheme.
A report of the public accounts committee tabled in Parliament said that the Women and Child Development Ministry reiterated the fact about the enhancement in honorarium as on October 2018.
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“The Committee are of the view that the large number of vacancies in the posts of AWH and AWW may be on account of the meagre wages being paid to them,” the panel said.
The parliamentary panel noted that the critical role played by these Anganwadi workers/ helpers during the Covid period cannot be ignored- they were tasked with distributing rations along with carrying out their main responsibilities pertaining to primary health care and immunisation, supplementary nutrition, educating families about family planning measures, etc.
“The Committee, therefore, feel it is high time that the Anganwadi workers get due recognition for the selfless and continuous services they have been providing,” it said.
The Committee, accordingly, strongly reiterated their recommendation that the remuneration of the AWWs and AWHs may be revised in such a manner that the benefits and salaries being paid to them should be commensurate with the work that they have been performing.
On the lack of progress in the construction of crèches in 25,000 Anganwadi centres in urban areas, the Committee had been informed that the Ministry of Women and Child Development in consultation with the Ministry of Urban Development had chalked out a programme for creating these crèches and had reported to have approached the Ministry of Finance for the same.
The Committee noted from the reply of the WCD Ministry that an academic effort was made to raise the Anganwadi services to the next level. However, the lack of proper accommodation in urban areas, running AWCs in rented buildings, non-availability of land for such ventures and the huge cost of land proved to be detriments in pursuing the initiative further.
While acknowledging the effort made by the Ministry, the Committee said it feels that crèches in Anganwadi centres in urban areas are very important for middle and lower-income group women, who go to work every day leaving their children behind at home unattended.
To provide security to their children and confidence to these women, the Committee desired that renewed and persistent efforts may be made under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development to tie up with NGOs, corporate entities under CSR and other organisations to help in providing crèche facilities to children of women working in urban areas.
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