BENGALURU: There are 36,868 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in the state out of which a maximum number of workers, around 9,879 of them, get incentives between `2,000 and `3,000, according to data released by the health department for July.
Bhagya Jyothi, Muthavva Shivappa and Prema Basappa are three ASHAs from Gadag and Mangaluru district. They all claim to have never received the monthly payment of incentives. Bhagya, who has worked as an ASHA for eight years, said the last time she received her honourarium was in April. A mother of three, she finds it hard to tend to her children with the meagre earnings of her husband who works in a private hospital as a ward boy.
The women point out that for them to get their incentives, they have to get it cleared by the medical officer of the primary health centre or community health centre, and then a medical officer at the taluk level and the district level. “Sometimes, expectant mothers don’t have the ‘thayi’ cards, which is the master card for documenting all our work. Then how will our work be recorded?” she asked.
Dr Rajkumar N, ASHA nodal officer, told Express, “At least 17 lakh thayi cards were printed among which 10 lakh were distributed by the auxiliary nurse midwives. Another 7 lakh will be distributed soon.”
Malamma from Chincholi taluk in Kalaburagi district said, “We work out the amount on how much we are supposed to be paid based on the number of deliveries we do and immunisations we do. But our payment is always delayed, and we get paid in a few hundred ruppees all the time.”
Vidyavathi Shamrao makes a startling claim of not receiving any payment for 2014-15. She works in Sulepet primary health centre in Kalaburagi district. Despite so many claims of non-payment, the district health officers of most districts have reported complete payment to Principal Health Secretary Shalini Rajneesh.