Demanding fixed monthly wages, better incentives and regularisation of their services as government Group “D” employees, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) staged a protest here on Wednesday.
The major grouse of the workers from across the State, who have come under the banner of Karnataka State ASHA Workers' Association affiliated to All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), was that the Government had cut their incentive from Rs. 650 to Rs. 200 from May for every Reproductive Child Health (RCH) case.
“That apart, we are now eligible to get the incentive only for two delivery cases and that too only if the person is a BPL cardholder. This is very unfair as our livelihood depends only on this incentive,” D. Nagalakshmi, sangha's State secretary said.
One of the key components of the Union Government's National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is to provide every village in the country with a trained woman community health activist called Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA). Selected from the village itself and accountable to it, the activist will be trained to work as an interface between the community and the public health system.
As per NRHM guidelines, ASHAs are supposed to receive performance-based incentives for promoting universal immunisation, referral and escort services for Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) and other healthcare programmes.
The protestors submitted a memorandum to the Governor through the NRHM Mission Director.
“These officials have promised to convene a meeting on Thursday to resolve our problems. We will wait and watch. If our demands are not met, we will intensify our agitation,” Ms. Nagalakshmi said.
“We also want uniforms, mobile phones and minimum monthly wages as per the recommendations of the 15th Indian Labour Organisation,” she added.