ASHA workers protest to demand their pending incentives

There is no proposal to regularize them: Dir NRHM

Irfan Rashid
SRINAGAR: Scores of AASHA workers under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir AASHA workers union Monday staged a protest against the false promises of government to regularize them and pending incentives.
The workers led by their president Misra Bano, were raising slogans against “false” government promises and the then Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad who had promised them the regularization from 2011.
All ASHA workers holding red flags and placards in their hands demanding recognition as employee, minimum wages, Uniforms, Protection against harassment and better service conditions.
They alleged that they have not been given incentives since 2011.
“Even in the midst of the night, we get call to travel to big hospitals and we are told to stay in the corridors for the night,” Rubina Akhtar, an ASHA worker.
Speaking on the occasion, President of All JK ASHA workers Union said that ASHAs have to work at least 7 to 8 hours a day but the government considers the ASHAs as part time voluntary health activists, but ASHA workers are not paid even minimum wages for all this work-all they receive for their labour and efforts are meagre incentives for the tasks performed. In fact, the incentives are so low that ASHAs get only between rupees 500 to 600 per month and the majority belongs to families with an income of only rupees 1,000 to 1,500 per month.
They demanded that considering the crucial nature of the work they do, they should be regularized as health workers and paid the statutory minimum wages in the state as promised by former Union Health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad.
They also warned the government that if their demands are not accepted they will launch a state level struggle in support of their demands.
They are going to submit a memorandum of demands to union health minister soon where they will clearly state their demands particularly their pay which they say should be not less than Rs 10000.
Talking to Rising Kashmir Regional Director, NRHM, Dr Shazia Wafai said: “ASHA workers don’t have fixed salary but get incentives as per their work. I’m not aware about any such delay in their incentives,” she said, adding “Presently, there is no such proposal to regularize them.”


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