Resolve our issues and then think of breakfast scheme, midday meal workers urge govt
Hyderabad: Hundreds of midday meal workers from various districts took to the streets in protest against the CM’s breakfast scheme. They organised vanta varpu —cooking in the open — to put pressure on the authorities.
The protestors lamented that their grievances have been mounting as they remain unresolved. Their main demand is enhancement of honorarium, given their role in providing nutritious meals to schoolchildren.
Mithilamma, one of the spokespersons for the workers, stated, "We are the backbone of the midday meal programme. However, our honorarium has remained stagnant for years together at Rs 1,000, making it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. This is even after a GO was passed in our favour."
They also sought additional money to acquire ration supplies as maintaining nutritional standards was paramount when serving meals.
"Overworked and understaffed, we are struggling to keep up with the demands of preparing meals for thousands of students on an everyday basis. We urge the authorities to recruit more workers and ensure an efficient functioning of the programme. The state government must address this issue first and only later contemplate the breakfast scheme," said Kiran A, member of a self-help group that handles the midday meal programme in Nizamabad.
Many alleged that principals and teachers in several districts have given them a timeline to fix things before the scheme goes live after Dasara.
The protestors hoped that support would come from various quarters like TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy, who has expressed solidarity with the midday meal workers