Bengaluru, April 10 (IANS) The Karnataka government on Monday increased the wages of childcare workers (Anganwadis) by Rs 1,000 and wages of their assistants by Rs 500 across the state.
“The wage hike will be in addition to Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 per month announced for them respectively in the state budget from this fiscal (2017-18) on March 15,” state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters after a meeting with representatives of anganwadis and their helpers here.
With the additional increase, anganwadis will get Rs 8,000 per month from April as against Rs 6,000 and their assistants Rs 4,000 per month as against Rs 3,000 till March 31, 2017.
“Honorarium (wage) for angandwadis has been increased by Rs 4,400 per month since our party (Congress) came to power in the state in May 2013 as against Rs 750 per month increase they got during the BJP regime from 2008-2013,” claimed Siddaramaiah.
About 10,000 anganwadis and their helpers called off four-day agitation on March 23 following an assurance by the Chief Minister to consider their wage hike demand after the twin bye-elections to Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly segments in the old Mysore region on Sunday.
“I am happy with the additional wage hike for us and our assistants as it meets our main demand,” Karnataka State anganwadi Workers’ Association President S. Varalakshmi told reporters later.
Around 1.2 lakh anganwadis and helpers take care of about 60 lakh children, pregnant women and nursing mothers at 65,911 centres across the state for early childhood care and development under the central government’s Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme.
As per ICDS guidelines, an anganwadi was given Rs 3,000 and her helper Rs 1,500 per month as honorarium, with the central and the state governments sharing the cost on 60:40 per cent basis since 2015-16 as against 90:10 per cent basis since the scheme was launched in 1975.
“We have increased Rs 2,000 for each childcare worker and Rs 1,000 for helpers working at childcare centres from this fiscal,” reiterated Siddaramaiah.
Though the central government did not increase its honorarium since 2011-12, the state government had enhanced it by Rs 500 for anganwadis and Rs 250 for helpers per month from 2013-14 to 2015-16.