Anganwadi workers in Andhra Pradesh on Monday called off their strike after 42 days after the state government agreed to their main demands, The Hindu reported.

The workers, who have been protesting since December 12, have demanded that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led administration recognise them as formal government employees.

They have also demanded that the government increase their wages from Rs 11,500 per month to Rs 26,000 per month, provide them with gratuity benefits and increase their retirement age to 62, in line with other government departments.

On Monday, leaders of Anganwadi workers’ union met the state’s Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana and Government Advisor (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy.

“The state government assured us that it would hike salaries in July this year, and gave the same in writing,” The Hindu quoted K Polari, the general secretary of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions State, as saying.The minister has assured to withdraw all the cases lodged against Anganwadi workers, pay salaries for the strike period and accept them back for duties immediately.”

More than one lakh Anganwadi workers will resume their work from Tuesday, VR Jyothi, the general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Pragathiseela Anganwadi Workers and Helpers’ Union, told the newspaper.

Anganwadi workers and helpers are appointed under the Centre’s Integrated Child Protection Scheme. They carry out several tasks, including providing supplementary nutrition to infants and expectant mothers, helping health workers distribute medicines and conduct surveys.

To quell the protests, the Andhra Pradesh government had on January 6 invoked the Essential Services and Maintenance Act, 1971, to categorise anganwadi workers in the state as “essential workers”, prohibiting them from going on a strike or staging a protest for the next six months. They had continued their strike despite the order.