BENGALURU: Asha health workers are on the warpath again. The devastating coronavirus outbreak and ‘empty promises’ have pushed this all-female army to breaking point. Despite calling off their strike in July after the state government’s assurance that their demands will be met, nothing has materialised till today.Now, the Karnataka Rajya Samyuktha Asha Karyakarthara Sangha, affiliated to the All India United Trade Union Centre, will go on a state-level protest on September 23 at Freedom Park in Bengaluru. ASHA workers have been frontline warriors during the Covid-19 pandemic but are paid only a paltry Rs 4,000 per month while they are demanding Rs 12,000.
“About 500-600 ASHA workers from Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur and Mysuru will protest on Wednesday,” said Durgesh Prakash, state executive committee member, AIUTUC.Apart from hike in monthly honorarium, their other demands include regular health checkups for all ASHA workers, provision of face masks, hand sanitizers, gloves and PPE kits.
The fact that the government has not even called them for negotiations has left them feeling ignored. Recently, they also submitted memorandums to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad and National Urban Health Mission officer asking that the risk incentive given to nurses, doctors and Group D workers be extended to them. This too elicited no response.
The issue with their payment lies in the incentive component given by the Centre. There are several technical issues on the Central government portal and several times they end up getting less than they had worked for.
B12,000 wages hike
Regular health check
Face masks, gloves, sanitiser