There are around 10,700 Anganwadi centers and around 22,000 Anganwadi workers and helpers in the national capital.

NEW DELHI: Sunita Kaushik, one of Anganwadi’s 884 laid-off workers, never imagined her life would change after her service ended. Sunita joined Anganwadi in 1994 as a worker and she was working on the Anand Parbat project.
“It was all of a sudden that I received my termination letter via WhatsApp. I never imagined that my department would do this with me,” Sunita said.
Sunita lives in rented accommodation with her husband and two sons in Karol Bagh. Her salary was around Rs 9,741 and she used to contribute this money to pay the rent for the house, which is Rs 15,000 per month.
“But now the burden has increased for my husband. His small printing business is already at a loss. Several times the owner asked us to leave the house,” Sunita said. Sunita cut back on groceries to manage her budget after the layoff.
According to statements by the Delhi government in the Delhi High Court, 884 workers in Anganwadi were served with dismissal notices and 11,942 were given show cause notices by the Delhi government for participating in a 39-day strike earlier. this year in January. There are around 10,700 Anganwadi centers and around 22,000 Anganwadi workers and helpers in the national capital.
On August 8, DSAWHU members staged a protest outside the office of the Lieutenant Governor, demanding the reinstatement of their fired staff. Bhagwati Chuhan, a resident of Gandhi Nagar, was working on the Geeta settlement project, but she was fired after 12 years of service in Anganwadi as a worker.
She is a single mother with an autistic daughter. “It has become difficult for me to manage household expenses. I am not even able to buy nappies for my daughter,” Bhagwati said. She is currently working in a textile factory to make ends meet and she earns around Rs 3000 per month.
“I don’t know how I will manage in the future what I earn is less and currently I am living at the mercy of my parent,” Bhagwati added.
“We risked our lives in the midst of the pandemic and delivered door-to-door ration packages,” said Anita Kumari. Anita is also a single mother with two children. She and her mother both worked as helpers in Anganwadi and in March both were made redundant.
“This termination came as a shock to me. My departmental minimum salary was my only financial support to raise my children since my husband died in 2018,” Anita Kumari recounted. When she joined Anganwadi in 2007, she was paid Rs 700 and in 2022, she received Rs 4800 as salary.To manage her expenses after the dismissal, she started working as a domestic cook and she earns around Rs 3000 per month.
“The Anganwadi union people are helping us, last month they gave me 6,000 rupees. But how I will manage in the future, I don’t know,” said Anita. Anita has incurred a debt of Rs 25,000 from relatives and now she is worried about how she will repay them.
At present, Anganwadi workers in Delhi receive monthly fees of around Rs 9,600 and aides of around Rs 4,800. They are asking for an increase to Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.
Following the protest, the Delhi government raised the fees to Rs 12,720 for Anganwadi workers and Rs 6,810 for helpers. The workers continued their protest demanding higher pay and regularization of their services.