Hike MDM cooks’ pay to Rs 2000, state urges Centre

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Bhubaneswar: The State government has requested the Centre to increase its proportional share of honorarium of the cook-cum-helpers working under the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) programme in Odisha as they are getting a meager sum of Rs 1000 monthly.

The move came in the wake of repeated strikes and dharna by the MDM workers at several times leading to disruption in MDM programme.

In a letter written to the Centre on August 25, Odisha School & Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra has sought Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar’s personal intervention into the matter.

The letter mentioned, “Request you to appreciate the decision of the Government of Odisha on the merit of the demands of these low paid volunteers engaged in cooking MDM and to take appropriate steps for release of proportional increase in the honorarium of cook-cum-helper as Centre share (60%) with effect from January, 2018.”

Patra has also enclosed copies of two DO letters earlier written to the Secretary, DSE&L, MHRD, New Delhi by Odisha School and Mass Education Principal Secretary.

“Government of Odisha after careful consideration has decided to enhance the honorarium from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 per month subject to proportional enhancement of Centre’s share (60%). In the meantime, Odisha government has already released its enhanced share of Rs 400 (40%) per month to these Cook-cum-Helpers with effect from Janaury, 2018,” the Odisha Minister further cited.

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