Sunday, 23 January 2022 | PNS | Dehradun
The Anganwadi workers have claimed that despite the chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s announcement of providing free sanitary napkins to women, the department of Women Empowerment and Child Development (WECD) has given them thousands of napkins to sell in their respective areas which is akin to torture for them. The president of Anganwadi Workers Association, Rekha Negi said that the officials are asking the Anganwadi workers to pay for all the napkins in advance when in fact, most of the women are not buying these sanitary napkins due to inferior quality. She said, “First of all, many Anganwadi workers in rural areas feel embarrassed to sell sanitary napkins by approaching women door to door as everybody knows everyone in the villages. Secondly, women are not ready to buy them again despite the cheap prices due to their inferior quality. Many even question us why we are selling them when the government has announced to provide them for free. Distributing them for free would be easier and those who desperately need them will take these napkins but if they have to spend money to buy them, they will definitely buy the better quality napkins that last longer.” She said that Anganwadi workers have to carry big boxes of sanitary napkins either on their heads or book an autorickshaw to take them to their centres. “The workers get no remuneration for carrying such big boxes to the centres. Also, we are being asked to pay in advance for the sanitary napkins provided to us. The department has directed us to sell each packet of the napkin at Rs six and the profit of Rs one is given to the Anganwadi workers. The whole process of selling the napkins is torturing all Anganwadi workers across the state.” stated Negi.
She also said that the department has asked the Anganwadi workers to update them with the daily activities that require internet. She said, “The price of internet recharge has increased in the last few months but the department has not paid us any amount for the mobile recharge. Also, over 1,000 mobiles provided by the department are damaged and those workers cannot work without them. There are several of such issues that need the department’s attention.”
Negi said that she has written a letter to WECD about the issues and hopes that officials will take cognisance of the matter.