Sahitya Akademi award winner writer Vaidehi said on Wednesday that the Government should provide all facilities to the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) who are rendering important work in rural areas.

She was speaking after inaugurating the Udupi district-level ASHA workers' convention organised by the State ASHA Workers Association, affiliated to the All-India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), here.

Ms. Vaidehi said it was a mystery as to why the Government did not want to give fixed wages to ASHA workers? It was extremely difficult for ASHA workers to work if they did not have fixed wages. Until ASHA workers raised their voice, the Government would not concede their demands. Health Minister B. Sriramalu should immediately fulfil the demands of ASHA workers, she added.

Secretary of the State unit of the association D. Nagalakshmi said that there were nearly 39,000 ASHA workers in the State. They should be given fixed minimum monthly wages as per the recommendations of the 15th International Labour Conference. The Government should regularise their services as government group ‘D' employees. It should also give better incentives to the workers. It was wrong on part of the Government to have cut their incentive from Rs. 650 to Rs. 200 for every Reproductive Child Health (RCH) case brought to the government hospital by them.

According to the guidelines of the National Rural Health Mission, ASHA workers should be given performance-based incentives for promoting universal immunisation, and referral and escort services for RCH case.

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