Lambasting the Assam Government for its decision to privatise the mid-day meal scheme, trade union CITU said over one lakh women would be rendered jobless on account of it.

The decision was ‘arbitrary and unjustified’ and ‘smacked of anti-people policy’ as it amounted to depriving 1,00,350 poor women workers who were engaged as cooks under the scheme from its benefits, CITU State unit organising secretary Mukund Teli said here.

The women workers were engaged in cooking the meals for children in primary schools since 2005 when the scheme was implemented in the State, he said during a meeting of CITU Cachar-Hailakandi district unit workers here on Sunday .

“Instead of their services being regularised, the women now face an uncertain future,” he observed, claiming they were also yet to receive the State’s share of 10 per cent payment of their monthly Rs 1,000 salary as fixed by the Centre in 2009.

In 2010, the State Government had decided to hand over implementation of the scheme to private organisation Akshaya Patra Foundation and the final shape was given on December 7, 2012 to begin it in a phased manner, Teli added.

(This article was published on January 7, 2013)
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