ASHA workers stage massive protest

They oppose decision of govt. to utilise their services at village/ward secretariats

November 03, 2020 12:24 am | Updated 12:24 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

A massive protest was organised by Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, under the aegis of the AP ASHA Workers Union, affiliated to the CITU, opposing the decision of the State government to utilise their services at the village/ward secretariats, at the Gandhi statue, opposite GVMC Office, here on Monday.

Addressing the striking workers, ASHA Union honorary president P. Mani and district secretary V. Satyavathi alleged that the State government’s decision has led to a feeling of job insecurity among ASHA workers. They said that the ASHA workers were being entrusted various tasks and to report for duty beyond the working hours and irrespective of holidays. They alleged that the ASHA workers were being harassed by officials by making them sign the attendance register at the secretariats at the end of the day. They were earlier working through PHCs, CHCs and Urban Health Centres

The ASHA workers were being deprived of the benefits of welfare schemes like scholarships for children’s education, widow pension and retirement benefits though they were being paid a meagre ₹10,000 a month as honorarium. They said that the services of ASHA workers come under the purview of the National Health Mission (NHM). They were not having job security, PF, ESI, gratuity and other social security measures.

Later, the participants went in a rally to the Collectorate and tried to picket it, but were stopped from doing so by the police personnel on duty. The leaders of ASHA union and CITU were arrested and taken away to the police station.

Union leaders Mani, K. Varalakshmi, V. Satyavathi, S. Padma and V. Mary and CITU leader V.V. Srinivasa Rao were among those who led the protest.

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