‘Do not take action against anganwadi workers over English’

Insisting Poshan Tracker app be filled in English illogical: HC

The Bombay High Court recently remarked “there is no logic or rationale on insisting that anganwadi workers fill an application used to monitor services to pregnant and lactating mothers in English” and directed the Maharashtra government to not initiate any action against them for failing to do so.

A Division Bench of Justices Prasanna Varale and S.M. Modak was hearing a petition filed by Anganwadi Karmachari Sanghata. On January 13, 2021, the Director of Ministry of Women and Child Development had issued letters to all States and Union Territories about the Poshan Abhiyan to use technology for monitoring and improved service delivery for beneficiaries like pregnant women and lactating mothers and children below six months.

‘Poshan Tracker’ is the App developed by the Ministry to ensure real-time monitoring of providing supplementary nutrition for improving nutritional status of beneficiaries and providing real-time information for prompt supervisions and management of services. As per a circular issued on March 15, data could be entered in the App only in English and it could be done with the help of local students.

Senior advocate Gayatri Singh representing the union told the court that the anganwadi workers are not well conversant with English and therefore are unable to make entries in the App.

On August 9, another High Court Bench had passed an order stating, “Pending the hearing and final disposal of this petition, the court be pleased to issue directions to the Ministry and the Maharashtra government to refrain from withholding or deducting the remuneration of anganwadi workers on the basis of the functioning and use of Poshan Tracker Application.”

The Central government had informed the court that this petition would not be treated as adversarial and an attempt would be made to find out a practical solution.

On December 13, the Child Development Project Officer of Integrated Child Development Services, Ramtek, said failure to fill any necessary information in the App would be treated as personal failure of the anganwadi workers and not the failure of the beneficiaries.

The court said, “We are unable to find any logic in insisting the anganwadi workers to fill the App in English.”

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