Sexagenarian Puhita Gogoi’s dreams are finally going to be fulfilled. An embodiment of loving and caring, Gogoi dedicated her life to the well-being of children and women in her area despite receiving little recognition. However, a significant change is underway for her as she is among the hundreds of Anganwadi workers and helpers who had received a one-time retirement assistance from the State Government earlier in November.
“With no one by my side, it was very challenging to lead a decent life. Till date, I don’t have a proper place to stay,” she told Asom Barta. As an Anganwadi worker in Deogharia village, Titabor, Gogoi has received ₹4 lakh in terminal benefits from the Government of Assam.
Her intent is to use this money to construct a pucca house with all basic amenities. “Throughout my life, I worked sincerely and dedicatedly but didn’t receive much in return. Today, I feel valued as my work has been recognized,” Gogoi told this reporter.
“It has given me motivation to continue my work for the betterment of society,” she added.
The eyes of 61-year-old Jumuron Nessa were sparkling while receiving the cheque meant as a one-time assistance. She said she considers that moment as the most memorable of her life.
“In the year 1987, I joined as an Anganwadi helper. All these years I took care of others. Today, I feel that I am being cared for,” Nessa told this reporter.
Nessa received a cheque of ₹2 lakhs for rendering invaluable contributions at the Puranbasti Centre in Guwahati, “The amount will help me in taking care of my health expenses,” she said.
The Government of Assam has provided a one-time financial assistance of ₹4 lakh to anganwadi workers, ₹3 lakhs to small angadwadi centres and ₹2 lakhs to anganwadi helpers who retire at the age of 60 effective April 1, 2022. In the first phase, 3,393 workers (793 in Phase-I and 2600 in Phase II) have received financial aid.
Lauding the role of Anganwadi workers, Minister of Women and Child Development, Ajanta Neog said, “Assam is the first State to provide a terminal benefit to Anganwadi workers despite multiple financial challenges,” the Minister said.
She said that the State Government was considering constructing 10,000 new model anganwadi centres across Assam.