Docs to anganwadi workers — strikes across India

Doctors in Kerala, workers at Satyam Auto Component, Haryana and Anaganwadi workers in Karnataka have been protesting, demanding clearance of dues among other things


Doctors at the Kerala Medical College Hospital will be on strike today, that is, March 3 in protest against the non-clearance of their dues. They claim their allowances and salaries, have not been paid to them regularly for some time now. Calling it ‘cheating day’, the doctors plan to sit outside the District Medical Officer’s (DMO) office to demand their pending payments. They threaten to go on an indefinite strike starting today, if their dues are not cleared immediately.

The doctors plan to boycott all VIP duty, pay ward duty, non-COVID-19 and non-emergency meetings. The doctors feel that the Government of Kerala has insulted the medical fraternity by not clearing their dues, despite the fact that doctors from the medical colleges have been serving the population throughout the pandemic. The strike, will not affect OPD services, assure the doctors.

Meanwhile, in Manesar, Haryana, workers of Satyam Auto Parts Component, a company that manufactures auto parts, staged a demonstration demanding salary revision. The workers allege that their wages have not been revised for two years now and that the Company has not fulfilled any of the promises made to them, despite several meetings to discuss issues have taken place. The Gurugram police deployed around 500 personnel in Manesar on Tuesday, following the protest.

The workers have been refusing lunch in plant premises since February 22 and finally went on strike on March 1, following the management’s attempt to force them to have lunch. Workers are angry that despite their cooperation in every way, in terms of accepting wage cuts during the pandemic and putting in extra efforts to increase production, the management has left them with not alternative but to protest.

In Bengalure, Angwanwadi workers protested at Freedom Park, demanding fixed salaries, pension and other benefits.

These Anganwadi workers, who worked even at the peak of the pandemic, are not part of any government pension schemes, either. They feel it is their right to access to medical facilities and education for their children and also a pension. The workers complain that they end up carrying out the work of other departments too. During the lockdown they were asked to join ASHA workers for contact tracing work, which required them to go door to door, without any special protective equipment. Despite all the work they do, their grouse is that what they are paid is an honorarium, not even a fixed salary.

They are afraid that if pre-schools are introduced under the National Education Policy (NEP), the Anganwadi workers may lose their livelihood. Therefore, their demand is that they should be kept under the Women and Child Development Department and not be brought under the education department.

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