UP govt promises hike in honorarium of anganwadi workers ahead of polls; the workers want the assurance in writing

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an increase in the monthly honorarium of anganwadi workers from Rs 5,500 to Rs 8,000. However, the anganwadi workers want the assurance in writing, as they say they have been promised the increase since 2017, and nothing has come of it.

Shivani Gupta
| Updated: January 4th, 2022

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during ‘anganwadi workers and helpers sammelan’ held in Lucknow on January 3. Photo: UP government.

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Amid multiple projects and initiatives being launched in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that the monthly honorarium of the states’ anganwadi workers and helpers would be increased.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government promised an increase in the honorarium of workers at main anganwadi centres from Rs 5,500 to Rs 8,000 per month and for those at mini anganwadi centres from Rs 4,250 to Rs 6,500. For helpers, the increase in honorarium will be from Rs 2,750 to Rs 4,000 per month. In Uttar Pradesh, 306,829 anganwadi workers, mini anganwadi workers and helpers are expected to benefit from this hike.

“Anganwadi workers served diligently during the peak of COVID19, and because of their efforts, the most populous state contained the spread efficiently, which gained recognition and appreciation even globally,” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said as he addressed the ‘anganwadi workers and helpers’ Sammelan’ held in Lucknow yesterday, on January 3.

The Chief Minister also highlighted that after 2018 there was not a single protest or demonstration by these organisations as the state government “always maintained interaction” with the anganwadi organisations. However, the anganwadi workers have protested several times on August 17, August 18 and December 4 last year.

Ironically, the very same day of the announcement, many anganwadi workers sat on a dharna at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in the state capital Lucknow demanding a written assurance from the chief minister on the honorarium hike.

Also Read: UP govt hikes honorarium for anganwadi workers, but they call it an eyewash

“Likhit aadesh nahi de rahe hain, keval maukhik kar rahe hain. 2018 me bhi announce kiye the, 2021 me bhi kiye the, phir aaj kiye hain, koi bharosa nahi hai inki baat ka,” Sujata Devi who hails from Sirkoni block of Jaunpur district told Gaon Connection. [The government has not given the order in writing, it has done so only verbally. Similar announcements were made in 2018, 2021, and then today. We do not trust his words.]

A recent Gaon Connection report highlighted how 150,000 anganwadi workers in Uttar Pradesh went on a two-day strike on August 17-18 in 2021 demanding a hike in monthly honorarium. They were demanding an honorarium of Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 a month for each anganwadi worker as was promised to them by the state government way back in 2017.

Also Read: About 150,000 protesting anganwadi workers in UP call off their strike; release statement of demands including honorarium hike

Anganwadi workers of 25 districts including Jaunpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, were part of the two-day protest on August 17 and 18. Photo: By arrangement

Meanwhile, an anganwadi worker from Unnao district complained about non-payment of honorariums. “We have not got maandeya [honorarium] for November and December. Managing a household in Rs 5,500 is difficult. We even have to spend money from our own pocket for all the photocopies and travel we do for work,” Sanno Devi, an anganwadi worker from Durjan Khera village told Gaon Connection.

Also Read: India has over two million underpaid anganwadi workers. The Badaun gangrape victim was one of them

Meanwhile, the chief minister has also announced an additional Rs 500 per month to each anganwadi worker and mini anganwadi worker for the period April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. The helpers will get an additional Rs 250 per month for the same period.

Lauding their efforts, Adityanath said that contribution of these workers in providing basic healthcare including essential immunisation and nutrition to the vast rural population and in the fight against the pandemic, is ‘unparalleled’ and ‘commendable’. The anganwadi workers however, were not mollified and stuck to their demand of getting the chief minister’s promises in writing.