Health Minister U.T. Khader has said that the demands of the Karnataka State Samyukta Asha (Accredited Social Health Activists) Workers’ Association will be conceded.

Mr. Khader was responding to a delegation of the association members, led by D. Nagalakshmi, general secretary, which met him recently seeking fulfilment of their demands, including payment of monthly salary, as was being done in other States, prompt release of incentives, besides providing them with other facilities.

In turn, Mr. Khader promised to take up their cause with the Chief Minister and also getting their demands conceded. The Minister also lauded the services of ASHA workers, an association press release said.

The delegation also met Suresh Mohammed, director of the National Rural Health Mission, and drew his attention to the fact that incentives had not been paid in most of the districts for the past three to nine months, and urged him to initiate steps to release it immediately.

As far as providing cell phones to ASHA workers is concerned, he promised to include it in the current year’s proposals, to be sent to the Union government. As many as 32,000 ASHA workers are serving all over the State, after being trained in the Health Department, identifying health problems faced by the people in rural areas, advising them on precautionary measures to be taken for safe delivery, child health and nutrition, besides creating awareness among them about preventing leprosy, tuberculosis, dengue, malaria and other diseases.

Funds sought

The association members have urged the government to support ASHA workers by earmarking adequate funds in the budget, besides initiating steps to concede their long-pending demands.