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Mid-day meal workers demand benefits, oppose privatization of scheme

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

From our Correspondent

Kokrajhar, March 21: The Sadau Asom Madhyma Bhojan Karamchari Union, Kokrajhar district committee on Saturday staged a protest rally in support of various demands in Kokrajhar town. They also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister rendra Modi through the Deputy Commissioner.

Hundreds of workers with banners and placards shouted slogans against the Modi-led government. They demanded that the mid-day meal workers should be recognized as class IV school employees and given social security benefits including gratuity, provident fund, medical facilities, that there should be no retrenchment of existing mid-day meal workers and to appoint minimum two mid-day meal workers in every school, include children upto Class XII in the Food Security Act and that proper infrastructure including kitchen sheds, storage place and safe drinking water should be provided in all schools.

The union also demanded minimum wages to all mid-day meal workers for all the 12 months in a year, cooking gas must be made available for cooking food and medical insurance, 180 days maternity leave with pay must be given to mid-day meal workers. The union is also against privatization of mid-day meal programme and packed food by corporates like Pepsi.

Chandrabati Basumatary, president of Sadao Asom Madhmya Bhojan Karamchari Union demanded adequate fincial allocation for food and cooking cost and to form grievance redressal committees at State and district levels with representatives of mid-day meal workers, as in the case of ICDS, to discuss the problems of mid-day meal workers and to provide uniforms and washing allowance to all mid-day meal workers. She lamented that mid-day meal workers were getting only Rs 1,000 per month as remuneration that too for only 10 months a year.

Basumatary also said that 95 per cent of the mid-day meal workers were women belonging to the most backward sections of the society and most of them were the lone bread earner of their family.

She said that it is unfortute that despite assurance the Budget 2014-15 neglected the mid-day meal workers. The union urged Prime Minister rendra Modi to persolly intervene and take urgent measures to ensure proper fincial allocation for the scheme.

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