Cooks initiated to work in primary and secondary schools that have implemented the mid-day meal scheme, staged a sit-in-protest at Dispur on Wednesday demanding an increase in salary and other incentives.
Jiten Rabha, president of the committee told Northeast Now, “All the cooks have been mandated to work for over five to six hours, after which they are only paid a nominal amount of Rs 1000. With this amount of Rs 1000 it is very difficult to sustain a family.”
Rabha further said the protest is held to make the Education department aware of the problems that are being faced by the employees of the mid-day meal scheme.
The protestors have demanded an increase in salary to Rs 5000 and have urged Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to do so with immediate effect.
In addition to the increase in salary, the protestors have demanded that they also be paid for the months of July and December, usually when the schools remain closed for vacations.
Later a magistrate reached the protest site and accepted the memorandum and promised to take up the issue with the education department.
Cooks working under the mid-day meal scheme from Goalpara, Kamrup Metro, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Udalguri and various other districts participated in the protest.
The mid-day meal scheme functioning under Sarba Shiksha Abhiyan was initiated by the Government of India in 1995.
It aims to improve the nutritional status of schools going children in the country by providing free lunches for pre-primary and primary schools students in government aided schools.