The Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union, which had led the anganwadi workers’ mass protest earlier this year, has announced that it will boycott both AAP and BJP in the upcoming civic body polls.
Hundreds of workers and helpers had begun a strike on January 31 with the primary demand of a substantial increase in pay. Along with this, they had demanded that they be given the status of government employees along with the benefits that accompany it. Currently, they are considered honorary workers. The strike ended after the Delhi Lieutenant Governor imposed the Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act (HESMA) in March. As a consequence of the strike, 884 workers and helpers were terminated from their services.
“Every anganwadi worker in Delhi has pledged to impose a complete ban on the entry of candidates and workers of these two parties in their respective areas. Today, even though these two parties are trying to sludge each other for vote bank politics, however, when it comes to the repression of workers’ rights, both parties are seen together hand in hand. Not only will the 22,000 anganwadi workers not cast their vote to these two parties, but their families and friends too will actively boycott them. We will also campaign among the masses of Delhi for the complete ‘vote bandi’ of these two parties,” said union president Shivani Kaul.
Kaul also stated that the union “will go on a strike on any coming day” if the terminated workers are not reinstated.
“All electoral parties have always used anganwadi women workers as vote bank, and as a tool for campaigns. They certainly are aware of the fact that workers have access to every nook and corner of this country. Using this same point as our leverage, anganwadi workers and helpers in Delhi will target all those parties who instead of hearing out their just and constitutional demands, terminated them,” she added.