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January 17 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Anganwadi workers in Andhra Pradesh are currently on strike, demanding improved wages and benefits. The State government, in response, has enforced the Essential Services and Maintenance Act (ESMA), prohibiting strikes for six months due to the impact on the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) at Anganwadi Centres. This has sparked discussions around the crucial role of Anganwadi services and the challenges faced by Anganwadi workers.

Anganwadi Services and Role of Anganwadi Workers:

ICDS Scheme and Anganwadi:

  • Initiated in 1975, the ICDS scheme now operates as Anganwadi Services, offering comprehensive early childhood care.
  • Centrally Sponsored, it caters to children (0-6 years), pregnant women, and lactating mothers through Anganwadi workers (AWWs) and Helpers (AWH).

Services Provided by Anganwadi:

  • Services encompass immunization, health check-ups, referral services, and nutritional support.
  • ICT platform Poshan tracker monitors and captures real-time data on Anganwadi services implementation.

Major Roles and Responsibilities of AWWs:

  • Community Outreach and Mobilization: Identifying eligible beneficiaries. Promoting community participation and awareness about ICDS programs.
  • Childcare and Early Childhood Education: Managing Anganwadi Centers, ensuring hygiene. Conducting pre-school education and growth monitoring.
  • Health and Nutrition: Distributing supplementary nutrition and conducting health check-ups. Assisting in immunization drives and raising health awareness.

Challenges Encountered by AWWs:

  • Meagre Remuneration: Monthly honorarium below minimum wage, often between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000. Frequent delays in receiving payments contribute to financial insecurity.
  • Overburdened with Work: Assigned additional tasks without additional benefits, leading to burnout. Extensive workload compromises the quality of services provided.
  • Lack of Proper Training and Resources: Initial training inadequately prepares them for complex tasks. Shortage of resources like infrastructure and teaching materials hampers effectiveness.
  • Lack of Social Recognition and Respect: Faces societal stigma and lacks recognition for valuable contributions. Absence of respect negatively impacts morale and motivation.

Way Forward:

  • Elevated Compensation and Benefits: Fair and timely salary revisions aligned with the cost of living. Robust social security packages, including health insurance, provident fund, and maternity leave.
  • Professional Growth and Recognition: Dedicated career progression pathways with promotion opportunities. Regular, intensive training programs for skill enhancement. Formalized qualifications and certifications acknowledging their expertise.
  • Enhanced Working Conditions and Resources: Optimal staffing levels with additional Anganwadi helpers. Modernized Anganwadi centers with improved infrastructure and equipment. Tech-enabled solutions for efficient record-keeping, monitoring, and communication.


The strike by Anganwadi workers in Andhra Pradesh brings attention to the challenges faced by these essential contributors to early childhood care.

Recognizing their critical role, it is imperative to address issues such as inadequate remuneration, heavy workloads, insufficient training, and the lack of social recognition.

A holistic approach that encompasses improved compensation, professional growth opportunities, and enhanced working conditions is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of Anganwadi services in India.


January 17
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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