Our Jobs Are In Danger, How Can We Continue To Work Like This, Say Anganwadi Workers

The Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh rally took place on Wednesday in Delhi, in which Adivasi farmers, laborers, and workers from across India rallied to fight for their land rights under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

The rally was a follow-up to the Kisan Long March, where some 40,000 farmers in Maharashtra walked 180-km from Nashik to Mumbai. They had 15 demands for the Devendra Fadnavis-led state government, which included waiving off farmers’ loans, the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee’s report that consists of reforms to protect farmers’ rights over their land, and correct implementation of minimum support prices. Also, more job opportunities, increase in minimum wages to Rs 18,000 a month, and recognition of anganwadi workers, helpers and Accredited Social Health Activists as government employees.

But their demands have not been met. The farmers shared how they are still being harassed by forest officials, not allowed to work or get their ration cards made. They are not even allowed to live in their home in the forest.

“We are exhausted,” said Romila Macwana, an Accredited Social Health Activist worker, who came with her six-year-old child from Rajkot, Gujarat. “We are made to work all day and we are only paid Rs 1,000 a month for it. I don’t have time to take care of my own children. If we are paid more, then at least we become eligible to take loans.”

“I started in 1997 with a salary of Rs 400,” said Garjeet Kaur, an anganwadi worker, from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab. “Our jobs are in danger. We have been regularly protesting against the government. We don’t get a pension…our salaries are too low. How can we continue to work like this?”

Source - Indian Women 

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