In news- Recently, the Supreme Court of India has held that anganwadi workers and helpers taking care of the nutrition needs of around 158 million children are entitled to gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. The court underscored that it was time for the Centre and the States to “collectively consider” bettering the service conditions of anganwadi workers and helpers.
Who are Anganwadi workers (AWWs)/helpers(AWHs)?
- The Anganwadi worker is a community based front line worker of the ICDS Programme.
- She plays a crucial role in promoting child growth and development.
- She is also an agent of social change, mobilising community support for better care of young children.
- AWWs and AWHs have been assigned all pervasive duties, which include identification of the beneficiaries, cooking nutritious food, conducting preschool for kids.
- Implementation of important provisions relating to children, pregnant women as well as lactating mothers has been entrusted to them.
- They often act as the bridge between the government and beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act and the ICDS.
What is gratuity?
- Gratuity is a benefit that is payable under the Payment of Gratuity Act 1972.
- The law applies to railways, ports, factories, oilfields, plantations, mines and shops.
- It is a sum of money paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered in the company.
- It is paid only to employees who complete five or more years with the company.
- It is a gesture to appreciate the efforts of a person towards the betterment, development and prosperity of an establishment and that is the reason for which gratuity is considered to be social security, and with passage of time, it has become a statutory obligation on the part of employers.
Further reading: https://journalsofindia.com/anganwadi-workers/