Condition of ICDS workers

· Regularization

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has made it clear that the Government has no plans to regularise the ICDS Workers. Even though some of them have worked for 40 long years

·  Workers face wrath of Beneficiaries
The higher level officials are totally insensitive to the plight of both these workers and the beneficiaries, who are a neglected lot due to lack of infrastructure and staff. Often, it is the workers who have to face the wrath of the beneficiaries.
·  Lack of knowledge and Training
proper training is also not imparted to the Anganwadi workers and helpers who often do not understand the reasons behind malnutrition of women and children in the state
·  Corruption
Corruption at the level of officials is rampant. Appointments on forged certificates or
through political pressure, bribery, misuse of funds, false records, pilfering of food
material are some of them.

·     Overwork and Multi-tasking
The employees have to multiple tasks and are overworked. There is a lack of infrastructure, staff and transport facilities. Consequently, they are unable to meet targets or complete their within the stipulated time.

·     No Promotion
Whereas there are several vacant posts, workers are denied promotion.

·     ICDS guidelines are not followed and the scheme is bogged down with bureaucratic pressures combined with official apathy.

·      lack of decision making power in the hands of the employees,

·     There is no recognition of good work or any cadre review. The District Programme Officers (DPOs), who are appointed through the Public Service Commission, retire in the same posts in which they had been initially appointed. Their frustration, then, finds expression in their rough and inhuman behaviour with subordinate workers.

·     Child Development Programme Officers (CDPOs) and the Anganwadi Supervisors are in a similar situation. Some have been working in the same post for almost 30 years and there is no scope for promotion

·     Honorarium
The honorarium of CDPOs, Anganwadi Supervisors, Workers and helpers is not only very low, but is different for different states, the highest being Rs. 19,480 for workers and 13,330 for helpers in Pondicherry. Many times the salary is delayed for months.
The DPOs, CDPOs, Supervisors, Workers and Helpers are never made aware of the
changes being made in the ICDS, nor are they informed about new schemes; their
participation is not elicited in the decision making, especially regarding the changes being incorporated in the ICDS.

Although the ICDS is under the Department of Women and Child, there is absolutely no consideration for women workers; no officials listen to the specific problems they face as women, during work. So the women workers know that there will be no solutions. This creates some kind of despondency in them.
According to Government norms, all employees of the ICDS should be females, since the work
is related to women and children. But, since 1998-99, recruitment of male officials (CDPOs and DPOs) has been allowed in the state. Pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls do not feel free to discuss their problems with them; hence it becomes difficult to get a clear picture of the problems faced by them. Even the Anganwadi workers are shy of discussing many problems with them.
Officers and family members discourage Union activities and create fear of retrenchment, so workers do not want to join the Association, though they want their problems to be resolved At the policy level, workers are against the Mission Plan, handing over to NGOs and local bodies, PPP, adoption by Corporates and drastic cut in the Budget for ICDS (18,108 in 2014-15)
crores to 8,245.77 crores in 2015-16.

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