Shillong, Aug 29: Hundreds of midday meal (MDM) workers, most of whom are women, started an indefinite sit-in on Monday in demand for a raise in their monthly honorarium.
The MDM workers, under the banner All Meghalaya Mid Day Meal Workers Union, are from West Khasi hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi and parts of East Khasi Hills. The demonstration is being staged at the parking lot of the additional secretariat in demand for a hike of Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,000.
Later, the protest was shifted to the premises of MBoSE office, a few meters away from the parking lot.
Speaking to media persons, advisor to the union KL Pariat said they have been demanding a hike and inclusion of December and January in the monthly honorarium since 2019, “but till date, the chief minister has not called for talks”.
“Till August 11, we have sent six letters as reminder to the chief minister to enhance the honorarium of the cook cum helper from Rs 100 to Rs 900 from the state share and also to include December and January in the honorarium,” Pariat said.
Another demand is to allot funds for cooking gas for preparing the meal. None of the schools in Meghalaya receives LPG cylinders, Pariat informed.
He added that it is a shame for schools to teach and encourage students to save trees by planting more trees but in these same schools, the meals are prepared by firewood and charcoal.