MUMBAI: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday announced that Asha workers will get an increment of Rs 1,000 in their wages and Rs 500 as COVID-19 allowance per month from July besides a smartphone.
After the announcement, which will benefit more than 68,000 such community health activists, Asha workers withdrew their week-long protest which they had launched in support of various demands, including a wage hike.
The kin of Asha workers who have died due to COVID-19 will get a compensation of Rs 50 lakh, the minister said.
Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) are contractual workers hired to implement a slew of government schemes, chiefly of the health department.
Speaking to reporters, Tope said, Maharashtra's Asha workers will get an expensive smartphone for their work along with an increment of Rs 1,000 per month.
They will also get Rs 500 per month as COVID-19 allowance on top of the increment.
This means, Asha workers will get Rs 1,500 more per month from July, the minister said.
Asha group monitors will get an increment of Rs 1,200 and Rs 500 as COVID-19 allowance, he said.
There are 71,137 sanctioned posts of Asha workers in the state, of which 68,297 seats are filled, Tope said.
Group heads of Asha workers, who monitor their daily functioning, will get a permanent increment of Rs 1,200 per month apart from a COVID-19 allowance of Rs 500, he said.
Asha workers will get another increment of Rs 500 from July 2022, he added.
The state would spend Rs 202 crore annually to absorb the hike in increment and allowance, said the minister.
Asha workers helping at vaccination centres to manage crowds will get an additional Rs 200 allowance, he said.
"The family members of Asha workers who have died due to COVID-19 will get a compensation of Rs 50 lakh. The data compilation work is going on and the government is trying to settle such claims at the earliest," Tope said.
Their family members will also get free COVID-19 treatment at state-run hospitals, he added.
Asha workers who assist pregnant women to get admitted in district COVID-19 hospitals will get Rs 200 as a special allowance and shelter will be provided to them at such hospitals, said the minister.