Thousands of Mid Day Meal Workers Hold Demonstrations in front of the Chief Minister in Bihar!
MDM Workers Declare if Demands Are Not Addressed Indefinite Strike will Start from November 30!
The honorarium for 1.25 lakh Mid Day Meal (MDM) workers of Bihar has remained unchanged for years, with zero percent increase from the state or Modi government in the centre. In 2019, the state provided only a meagre increment of Rs. 250. This nominal raise makes their honorarium merely Rs 1650 per month. Despite being a centrally funded scheme, the Modi government has denied any kind of increase in the honorarium despite the ongoing daily rise in prices. Moreover the workers are only paid for 10 months. Rather than taking responsibility for ensuring working class rights of the MDM workers, the Central Government is trying to evade all accountability by outsourcing the work of MDM to NGOs.
On October 31 thousands of MDM workers protested before the Chief Minister in Patna raising their 13 demands against the ani-worker policies of the regime. This demonstration was organised by a coalition of four MDM unions, including the Bihar Rajya Rasoiya Sangh (AICCTU). The call for joint demonstration was given by the Joint Struggle Committee of 4 MDM organisations namely Bihar Rajya Vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh, Bihar Rajya Mid-Day Mill Workers (Rasoiya) Union (CITU), Bihar Rajya Rasoiya Union (AIUTUC), Bihar Rajya Vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh (AITUC). They demanded the status of government employees, an immediate increase in honorarium of Rs. 1650, to Rs. 10,000, the exclusion of NGOs from MDM, the provision of honorarium for 12 months in a year instead of 10 and cessation of the practice of making cooks do the cleaning work.
The gathering of MDM workers was addressed by Saroj Chaubey, General Secretary of Rajya vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh, Shashi Yadav, General Secretary of All India Scheme Workers Federation, Aryan Thakur, Ranvijay Kumar, Rambali Prasad, S.K. Sharma from AICCTU, Ganesh Shankar Singh, President of CITU, AITUC leader Purve and Surykar from AIUTUC. Satyadev Ram and Gopal Ravidas, MLA, CPI (ML), Avadesh Kumar and Satyendra Yadav MLA, CPI (M) also addressed the demonstration to support their ongoing cause. Apart from these AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari, AIDWA National Vice-president Rampari Devi also addressed the gathering. The demonstration warned Nitish Kumar if 13 demands of workers are not met, they will go on indefinite strike by 30th November.