First National Conference of the All India Scheme Workers Federation
by Rambali Prasad

The first national conference of the All India Scheme Workers Federation (AISWF), affiliated to AICCTU, concluded on September 9-10, 2023, at the Gait Public Library Auditorium in Patna. The conference concluded with the resolve to intensify the struggle against the Modi government regarding the issues faced by scheme workers. The flag hoisting ceremony was conducted by Madina Shaikh from Maharashtra. One minute of silence was observed at the martyr's altar, where wreaths were laid, to pay tribute to the martyrs. Huge hoardings depicting the struggle of scheme workers, including prominent martyrs, were displayed at the site.

Following this, the inaugural session of the conference commenced. Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of CPI(ML), and other invited guests were honoured with shawls and insignia on the stage. Com. Shashi Yadav, the National Convener of the Federation, conducted the inaugural session. During his speech, Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya strongly condemned the exploitation and harassment faced by women workers in the country, particularly one crore women scheme workers. He highlighted the sexual exploitation, harassment, unequal wages, and unfair treatment suffered by women workers. He acknowledged the mobilisation and struggle of women workers against this exploitation and inequality, citing the recent successful strike by ASHA workers in Bihar. He urged for the intensification of the struggle, the strengthening of the federation, and the preparation to overthrow the Modi government by 2024.

Other guests, including Com. V. Shankar, National President of AICCTU, Com. Rajeev Dimri, General Secretary of AICCTU, Bihar State Secretary of CPI (ML) Com. Kunal, Legislative Party Leader Com. Mehboob Alam, Deputy legislative party leader Com. Satyadev Ram, General Secretary of AIPWA Com. Meena Tiwari, former chairperson of Bihar Women's Commission Com. Manju Verma, and General Secretary of AICCTU Bihar, Com. R. N. Thakur, congratulated the conference on its success and expressed solidarity with the struggles of scheme workers. Revolutionary songs were presented by the comrades of Jasam-Hirawal at the beginning of the inaugural session.
During the conference, delegates from various state schemes workers shared their views on the report presented by National Convenor Com Shashi Yadav. The report was unanimously passed.

Subsequently, Com. Rambali Prasad presented the draft of the Constitution of the Federation, which was also unanimously approved.

The conference passed the following resolutions regarding the rights of scheme workers:

1. The conference demands that all scheme workers, who have been working in education, health, women, and child protection programs across the country, should be given the status of government employees, pay scale like government employees, and social security benefits (EPF, ESI, gratuity, and pension benefits). A nationwide campaign will be conducted until November 23rd.

2. After the nationwide campaign, a demonstration under the name "Delhi Chalo" will be held in front of the Parliament on a later announced date.

3. The conference called for the strengthening of organisations of scheme workers like ASHA, Anganwadi, Rasoia, Mamta, etc. in different states of the country to strengthen the federation.

4. A national strike will be organised at a later announced date after discussions with other organisations regarding the demands of scheme employees.

5. The conference urged to teach the Modi government a lesson in the 2024 elections due to their indifference towards about one crore scheme workers in the country.

6. The conference expressed serious concern over the increasing attacks on women's dignity and security, the anti-women environment, and the rising sexual violence at the workplace. It also expressed solidarity with the women of Manipur fighting for honour and security and supported struggling women wrestlers who were victims of sexual violence while strongly condemning the abuse of power.

7. The conference called upon all to make the 'Maha Padav' organised in Delhi from 26th to 29th November successful on the joint call of the 'Sanyukt Kisan Morcha' and the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions.

8. The conference extended support to the ongoing ASHA movement in UP and Haryana.

Com. S.K. Sharma, General Secretary of the All India Construction Workers Federation, was unanimously appointed as the election officer to conduct elections for the National Executive Committee and National Office Bearers of All India Scheme Workers Federation. The conference elected a 45-member executive committee and a 13-member team of officer bearers. Saroj Choubey was elected as the Honorary President and Geeta Mandal and Shashi Yadav were elected as the President and General Secretary respectively.

The conference concluded with the singing of the International "Hum Honge Kamyab..." and enthusiastic slogans.

All India Scheme Workers Federation