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ASHA workers demand minimum monthly wage

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Seeking fair deal: Community health workers at a convention in Bangalore on Monday.
Seeking fair deal: Community health workers at a convention in Bangalore on Monday.

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), working as community health workers in the World Bank-sponsored National Rural Health Mission in the State and who are not been able to get an assured incentive every month, are now demanding a monthly minimum wage.

Hundreds of ASHA workers, who held a convention in Bangalore under the banner ASHA Workers’ Association affiliated to the CITU, also demanded restroom facility at every primary health centre, travel allowance, mobile phone and a medical kit. They said a minimum of Rs. 1,000 per month should be paid as ad hoc minimum wage with immediate effect.

Nearly 50,000 ASHA workers from all over the State are being deprived of salaries and basic facilities.

Participating in the convention, CITU State president B. Madhav said women health workers were being made to work “for almost peanuts” due to government policies on privatisation and globalisation. “No doubt this scheme will help people in the rural areas; but what about the plight of the women workers?” asked Mr. Madhav.

Association president S. Varalakshmi said the workers, who have been working from past six months, have been paid only Rs. 1,000.

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