BENGALURU: The ASHA Workers’ Union has threatened to launch a statewide agitation as they did last year if an allocation of Rs 12,000 per month is not made for them in the upcoming state budget. The state government had made several promises earlier, but none were met, said ASHA workers, who served as frontline workers during the peak of Covid pandemic. The workers complained that they have been receiving incomplete and insufficient wages and incentives.
State Secretary of the ASHA Workers’ Union D Nagalakshmi said, “We get Rs 4,000 from the state and we are supposed to get money from the Central government for carrying out certain tasks. Other health staff are supposed to fill in details of the tasks we have done onto the ASHA Nidhi software.
But that is not done. The Centre then disburses incomplete incentive amounts to us. For instance, instead of getting Rs 6,000, a worker may get only Rs 3,000, despite completing all the incentive-based tasks. Owing to this uncertainty, the workers no longer want an honorarium, but a fixed salary.”
Though on paper they may have fixed hours of work, they toil the entire day, they said. They demanded the promised Rs 5,000 risk allowance. They sought Rs 500 per day for working overtime, while also pushing for fixed working hours and days.
‘Yet to get Rs 50L relief’
They said that they have also not received the Rs 50 lakh compensation from the Centre, promised for families of those ASHA workers who died due to COVID-19. Apart from Covid, ASHA workers conduct a number of surveys on a day-to-day basis and are part of antenatal and post-natal care of mother and children, they added.