SILCHAR: Mid-day meal workers of Lakhipur subdivision on Saturday, though belated, assembled from the different schools to converge at the sub-divisional headquarters of Lakhipur and marched down to the SDO(civil) office to submit a memorandum, detailing their grievances for redressal. Pradip Kumar Gupta, SDO, accepting the memorandum said he would forward it to the higher authorities concerned for consideration. Sabita Sharma, leading the agitating workers, said they have been working as school cook cum helper ever since the creation of posts at different schools.
During their continuous service period, all the mid-day meal workers have put in their best with all sense of commitment and dedication despite adversities.
They have submitted series of memoranda to authorities concerned from time to time to enhance their monthly salary and bring it at par with those of the State Government employees. It needs no mention how tough and difficult it is to maintain a family with such meagre remuneration of Rs 1,000 only a month.
The workers serving as cooks get remuneration for 10 months only and this has been going on since 2009. Steep rise in prices of all commodities has made a mockery of their ill paid wages. The 2013 All India Labour Convention held at
New Delhi demanded justice to the workers by treating their services equal to that of State employees, pointed out Sabita Sharma. The 45th Labour Convention strongly batted for enhancing the salary to Rs 600 daily. The association reminded how BJP in the opposition all along supported the cause of the mid-day meal workers for increase of their salary and social security. Now, BJP in power has forgotten its commitment and forced the 25 lakh mid-day meal workers to hit the streets across the country. They have marched down to Parliament and their representatives held meeting with Minister concerned for a fair deal to them.
Lakhipur mid-day meal workers’ association has raised their voice against the reported move of the government for handing over the responsibility of mid-day meal preparation and distribution to private parties. They are also against privatisation and commercialisation of school education. They hold the view not only will they suffer, poor students will be deprived of the basic benefits of education.