Monday, October 2, 2023

Mid-day meal workers in Mnp demand hike

“What shall we do with Rs 1000 a month in this inflation era” asked mid-day meal workers in Manipur’s Jiribam district who staged a sit-in-protest demanding hike in their honorarium.
Cooks and helpers of the Central sponsored Mid-Day Meal Scheme now renamed as PM-POSHAN scheme in Manipur are paid Rs 1000 per month as honorarium for their service.
Highlighting the grievances faced in running their families with the meager honorarium, cook and helpers have been demanding a hike in their monthly honorarium under the aegis of Mid-Day Meal Workers’ Union Manipur (MDMWUM).
Joining the chorus, cooks and helpers of the government-run schools where the scheme is being implemented today staged a sit-in-protest in front of Jiribam Congress Bhavan under the aegis of the All Jiribam Cook Association (AJCA) showing solidarity to the demand raised by the MDMWUM.
During the protest, the mid-day workers lamented that the meager honorarium they are paid was not feasible and very low compared to the honorarium enjoyed by mid-day workers in other states of the country and drew the attention of the concerned authorities of the Manipur government to hike the honorarium to suit with time.
“The honorarium we are getting is not suited to inflation. How can one manage with this meager income of Rs 1000 a month,” said AJCA president L Sandhyarani Devi who alleged that since the beginning they were ill-paid compared to the service they rendered to students. The scheme was introduced in the state in 2005 and at the initial stage they were paid only Rs 500 per month. It was hiked to Rs 1000, that too after a long struggle.
However, the state government did not revise the honorarium till date. The government has deaf and mute despite repeated requests by way of submitting memorandum after memorandum to the concerned authorities.
“It is nothing but side-lining the service rendered by the mid-day workers,” she lamented.
She said that mid-day meal workers were responsible for serving mid-day meals properly to the students so that they remain fit and healthy during school hours.
Acknowledging their service, governments of other states paid mid-day meal workers well by revising the honorarium from time to time so that they can maintain their families properly, she said.
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme which was renamed as PM-Poshan after the BJP came to power at the Centre was introduced in the state in 2005.
The authorities of Manipur government inducted over 6,951 cooks and helpers to implement the scheme in all government-run primary and high schools including government aided schools effectively.


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