Is the value of an ASHA worker just Rs33/day?
Vardhini( name changed) is an ASHA(Accredited Social Health Activist) worker from a rural district in Odisha. She delivers food, medicine, and emergency medicines to rural families. She also conducts door to door surveys and educates people about necessary precautions.
She works tirelessly to render essential health services in the district despite being vulnerable from the corona outbreak. Sometimes she and her friends spend money from their own pockets to buy masks, gloves, sanitizers, etc as they don’t receive these essential protective gear from the government.
But what does she get in return?
A meager remuneration of approximately Rs 1000 for corona virus-related work. This amounts to a meager amount of Rs 30-33/day.
Sometimes, there is a delay in receiving this incentive. And the monthly honorarium(wage) of Rs 2000 that she receives is inadequate for managing the expenses of her family.
This is the plight of an ASHA worker in a single district.
There are around 9 lakhs ASHA workers in India who are discharging their duties and working tirelessly for the wellbeing of the rural people.
But in these dire circumstances of the corona pandemic, they are underpaid and overworked.
The struggles of the ASHA workers have been overlooked by the government and there has been persistent institutional neglect towards their problems.
Our Prime Minister recently announced an economic package to assist the economy and our workers. Since ASHA workers are a crucial interface between the community and the health system, I would want the following demands of ASHA workers to be taken into consideration:
1) Increase in honorarium and incentives of ASHA workers
2) Timely disbursement of incentives
3) Adequate provision of masks, gloves, and PPE.
Given, that we have expressed our gratitude to our frontline health workers, it’s time to express our gratitude to our real wonder-women as well. And the way to do that is through ensuring that their concerns get their much-needed recognition.
Sign my petition asking the government to take Suo moto cognizance of the concerns of ASHA workers as they are not only contributing to our nation as health activists but play a vital role in ensuring the rural health mission runs smoothly.
Let's get together by signing and sharing this petition because #ASHAkiAsha matters!
(23/06/2021) UPDATE: ASHA Workers across the country continue to be on strike asking for better incentives. Here are a few more demands of ASHA workers that require immediate attention.
- Defined and proper working hours
- Recognition as government workers
- Planned leaves
Picture credits: The Indian Express