K M Dayashankar
MMD workers were demanding an increase in wages and mess charges following the escalation of prices of essential commodities
DEO instructs MEOs and HMs to make alternate arrangements and continue serving midday meals to students
KARIMNAGAR: The Midday meal workers affiliated to the Telangana government schools midday meal workers association affiliated to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Karmika vibhagam have decided to go on indefinite strike from December 6 onwards in all the government and Zilla Parishad schools in the state.
They were demanding the government to provide minimum wages as per the labour department laws, increase of mess bills, supply of eggs by the government to the schools and clearance of pending three months bills.
Accordingly, association state secretary D Babai, district president B Manjula, secretary E Swaroopa have served the strike notice to Karimnagar district educational officer Ch VS Janardhan Rao. They stated that they were serving the midday meals in the schools since its inception 19 years ago. They were being given an honorarium of Rs 1,000 per month which includes Rs 750 by the Central government and Rs 250 by the state government.
They were supplying eggs three days a week during the midday meals. The government was giving only Rs 4 per egg and they were forced to purchase eggs at the rate of Rs 6 per piece in the market. They demanded the government to supply eggs directly to the schools instead of MMD workers purchasing them in the market. Stating that the government was providing only rice for the midday meals, they said that they were forced to purchase vegetables and other essential commodities at higher rates in the market.
They demanded the government to increase the mess charges from the existing Rs 4.97 paise per student in primary schools and Rs 7.45 paise per student in high schools following the increase of prices of all essential commodities.
In the wake of an indefinite strike by Midday meal workers, the DEO had instructed the respective MEOs and headmasters to make alternate arrangements for the preparation of midday meals and their serving to the students during the strike period. The respective schools were roping in the services of the lower rung staff in the schools and some of the teachers for cooking food and serving to the children during the strike period.