Anganwadi workers in India gain victory in wages struggle

18 August 2015
Women workers in India's Anganwadi child care centres have finally obtained the results they were hoping for after a 20-day strike including hunger strikes.

The government-financed Anganwadi centres provide care for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and pre-school children. The Delhi Anganwadi workers and helpers had not received their wages for 8-9 months. Their demands also included the issue of an identity card and the implementation of an insurance scheme.

The workers started their strike on 7 July and started a three day relay hunger strike on 20th July, followed by an indefinite hunger strke on 23 July. A growing number of women joined the movement and this led to the closure of several Anganwadi centres, creating a huge pressure on the government.

The workers also created a new trade union, the Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union. The government finally agreed to all their demands, paid back the arrears and increased the salaries both for Anganwadi workers and helpers.

The women held a victory march on 29 July in which almost 3000 workers participated.

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