Hill Anganwadi workers seek hike in pay, retirement benefits
Darjeeling: The Anganwadi workers and helpers of Darjeeling Hills have demanded an increment in their monthly remuneration. Along with this, they have demanded retirement benefits as well.
The Shishu Bikash Anganwadi Karmi Sahakarmi Sangathan, an association of Anganwadi workers and helpers, recently sat in a meeting with the secretary and officials of the Social Welfare department, government of West Bengal.
"Increment of our remuneration has been our long-standing demand, especially in the Hills where the terrain is tough. The meeting held in Kolkata ended on a positive note, with the department agreeing to many of our demands, including increment and retirement benefits," stated Mani Kumar Rai, president of the association.
At present, Anganwadi workers are paid a Rs 4,800 monthly stipend, while helpers receive Rs 3,300 in West Bengal.
"In many states, workers receive Rs 10,000 and helpers Rs 5,000. They also receive Rs 1 lakh on retirement and in case of death during service period, the next of kin receive Rs 2 lakh. All these benefits are not given to us in West Bengal," added Rai.
However, the association is banking their hopes on the assurances given by the officials at the Kolkata meeting. "Along with the increment, they have assured us that during retirement, an amount equivalent to 2 years of salary will be given. Those who have served as workers for more than 10 years will be upgraded to supervisors. Question papers in Nepali will also be made available for departmental exams," stated Asha Hingmang, treasurer of the association.