February 27, 2024

Lots of of noon meal staff from throughout Kolkata got here collectively to march for higher wages and advantages. 


After submitting a deputation to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, noon meal staff marched the streets of Kolkata on Tuesday, demanding higher wages and salaries. 

Beneath the banner of the Affiliation of Noon Meal Assistants (AMMA), over 100 noon meal staff marched from Sealdah to SN Banerjee Highway to Esplanade. These staff work from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and get solely about Rs. 10 per day. They get no additional advantages or bonuses as properly. 

Midday meal workers march for better wages - Asiana Times


Staff mentioned they don’t even obtain two months’ salaries as a result of the faculties have summer time holidays and Durga Puja. They work all yr and receives a commission for less than 10 months. They are saying that if lecturers receives a commission throughout holidays, so ought to the employees. 

Some scholar leaders have been additionally a part of the march.

Earlier, there have been extra protests in Nadia and North 24 Parganas, however they yielded no optimistic outcomes. 

The wages of noon meal staff have remained the identical for the previous 10 years. The employees work in teams of 5 to 10 and are paid as a gaggle by the faculties. They work all day and get naked wages. 

Not solely do the employees receives a commission as little as Rs. 1,500 per day, however in addition they obtain no different advantages. They aren’t even registered as workers. They don’t have any recruitment proof, work with self-help teams, and attempt to put good vitamin on the plates of youngsters. 

These staff, largely ladies, go away their kids behind and are available to work. Pregnant ladies get no maternity go away, and in the event that they ask for go away, they’re ordered to not rejoin. 

The employees moreover demand that their salaries be deposited in their very own financial institution accounts as an alternative of the trainer’s or the panchayat’s. With so many middlemen, cash can usually be stolen, leading to decrease wages. 

90% of the noon meal staff are ladies, largely single or widowed. 

To justify the poor pay, the federal government mentioned that it was as a result of the ‘honorary staff’ have been doing voluntary social work. 

The cook-cum-helpers obtain a month-to-month wage of Rs. 1000 for 10 months to organize, serve meals at authorities colleges after which clear up afterwards. The rule for the noon meal scheme cited was that the individuals employed to work needs to be widows, individuals dwelling under the poverty line, the susceptible, and the marginalized. 

Mockingly, the federal government calls them honorary staff when, the truth is, they’re helpless.