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Anganwadi worker ends life over alleged non-payment of salary

A 54-year-old ‘anganwadi’ worker allegedly committed suicide in Parbhani district of Marathwada after being upset over non-payment of her salary for last few months and work pressure, a police official said.

Sumitra Sawandkar ended her life Tuesday morning by hanging herself at her home in Bordi village, he said.

She was working at the Nagangaon anganwadi (government- run rural mother and child care centre), a few kilometres from her village since 2001, he said.

The police recovered a suicide note from her home in which she blamed non-payment of her salary for the last five months, work pressure and the bad treatment meted out to her by her family members as the reasons for taking the extreme step, the official said.

“We have recovered a suicide note in which Sawandkar has mentioned about frustration over non-payment since June,” Parbhani’s Superintendent of Police Dileep Zalke said.

The officials concerned had asked her for anganwadi records which were apparently not maintained. Sawandkar feared she may lose her job because of this, and this might have led her to take the extreme step, he said.

“We have registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in the case and a probe is underway,” the SP said.

As per the police, in the suicide note, Sawandkar said, “I am committing suicide due to non-payment and demand of registers since 2008 by officials.”

She also mentioned that instead of appreciating her for running the anganwadi from a temple premises, the government officials were asking her for records, a police official said.

“The government doesn’t bother how I operated the anganwadi. They want registers. I don’t have a single penny…to purchase register one needs Rs 1,000. I don’t have money for photocopy and also require at least Rs 20 daily to commute to the anganwadi in Nagangaon,” she said in the note.

Sawandkar also mentioned about the protest marches and rallies taken out by anganwadi workers in the past over their demands and requested the government to release the pending dues of workers and helpers, the official said.

In the note, she also alleged that her family members were not treating her well, he said.

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