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Unpaid for 15 months, Karnataka ASHA workers launch massive strike

The protesters bemoaned that their meetings with health officials and health minister B Sreeramulu had so far been futile.

Published: 03rd January 2020 06:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2020 06:42 PM   |  A+A-

Thousands of ASHA workers travelled to Bangalore from different parts of Karnataka to participate in an indefinite dharna asking the state government to meet their demands.

Thousands of ASHA workers travelled to Bangalore from different parts of Karnataka to participate in an indefinite dharna asking the state government to meet their demands. (Photo | Meghana Sastry, EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Clad in pink sarees, more than 10,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) on Friday marched from City Railway Station to Freedom Park demanding fixed monthly honorarium of Rs 12,000.

The workers pointed out that they have not been paid their wages (Rs 3500) for the past 15 months.  They bemoaned that their meetings with officials from the Health and Family Welfare Department (HFW) and health minister B Sreeramulu had been futile.

Rama, State Committee Member of AIUTUC said, "There are 41,000 Asha workers in Karnataka. Only 20% of them are regularly getting their pay and the rest are just left with nothing. Despite this, they are sticking to the job with the hope that they will be paid soon. But, how long can they wait. We want the government to release their salary immediately."

While D Nagalakshmi, Secretary of Karnataka state samyukta ASHA workers said, "We have met the health minister four timings. We have been getting only promises. And this is why we have taken to the streets. This will be an indefinite protest until our demands are met."

The protest led to traffic snarls at some places such as Rao Circle, Mysore Bank Circle and Nruputhanga Road.

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