They alleged that an anganwadi worker committed suicide in minister Pankaja Munde’s constituency in Beed districtbecause she was deprived of honorarium for six months as her biometrics did not match.
In a written statement, the activists demanded a probe into the death and blamed the government for not simplifying the process of disbursement of funds to anganwadi workers.
Activist Shubha Shamim blamed the government for the ‘faulty system’ of disbursement of honorarium to anganwadi workers. “Anganwadi worker Neeta Shinde, 32- year-old widow from Gevrai in Beed district, ended her life as she was deprived of honorarium for the last six months,’’ alleged Shamim who demanded a probe by the government.
The aadhaar-linked disbursement of salary from banks has been an issue and many anganwadi workers have not been paid honorarium for several months. Shamim said that after several follow-ups, she managed to receive honorarium for two months but did not receive the same for another eight months as her biometrics did not match.
‘We feel that the government is responsible for her suicide,’’ she said. This is not the first instance of suicide in Marathwada region as last year also, a 54-year-old anganwadi worker allegedly took her life in Parbhani district of Marathwada due to non-payment of honorarium for some months.
Anganwadi workers had threatened to go on a strike in March this year over non-payment of honorarium when the state government invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against them. The strike was called to protest the decision to lower the retirement age of anganwadi workers from 65 to 60, but it was revoked later. It was two years earlier that the honorarium of anganwadi workers was increased by Rs 1,000. Last year, it was raised further by Rs 1,500.