ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mid-day Meal Cooks

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The editorial “Workers in Their Own Right” (EPW, 23 February 2019) has done well to draw attention to various development scheme workers. While anganwadi workers and accredited social health activists (ASHAs) have received at least some attention in the recent past, mid-day meal (MDM) cooks are the most neglected. Over 2 million of these women workers have been exploited in a very unjust way. Recently, I spoke to several of them in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar.

Seeta Devi is employed as an MDM cook in a government school in Dhobha village (Chitora block, Bahraich district) of UP. Although given a big responsibility of cooking food for a large number of children every day, she is paid a very low wage of only ₹ 1,000 per month. Even this meagre wage is not paid regularly and is often delayed. During the last eight months, Seeta Devi says, she had received a total payment of ₹ 3,500 only.

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Updated On : 29th Mar, 2019
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