Mumbai

Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress' common minimum programme has something for everyone

The underpaid Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and anganwadi workers who drive all the health initiatives on the ground have a glimmer of hope in the common minimum programme (CMP) announced by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Thursday.

The CMP promises that the honorarium of these workers will be increased and their service facilities will be augmented.

“The low honorarium of the ASHA workers has been an issue for a long time and we have taken it up with many government authorities. If the new government is keen to take it up, they should increase the honorarium to ₹18,000 and also offer them permanent posts in the health department,” said Shankar Pujari, president of the Maharashtra ASHA Workers Union.

There are 70,000 ASHAs in Maharashtra. They drive as many as 73 health programmes on the ground. While they earn an average of ₹1,500 on the programme, they get an additional ₹1,500 for record maintenance. “A government resolution two months ago stated that their honorarium will be increased by ₹2,000 but is yet to be implemented,” said Mr. Pujari adding that Andhra Pradesh pays a fixed honorarium of ₹10,000 to their ASHAs. The anganwadi workers who fall under the Integrated Child Development Services program also have similar qualms.

To promote health, the CMP has also made an ambitious announcement of starting One Rupee Clinics at taluka level, super-specialty hospitals and medical colleges in all districts. There is also a promise of health insurance cover to every citizen. While the State already has Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) which covers the poor, health activists will closely watch how the MVA delivers health cover to everyone.

“The announcements made by the coalition are in the right direction. But they will have to do much more to actually implement it,” said Dr. Arun Gadre, a member of the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare. “We are all for universal healthcare. But to start with, the government has to increase the budget and improve the public health system,” said Dr. Gadre adding that the government should also seek the opinion of doctors who are experts in the area.

For a prosperous and progressive Maharashtra

Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP common minimum programme

Preamble:

The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. On contentious issue of national importance as well as of State importance especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus.

Farmers

• Provide immediate assistance to the farmers who are suffering due to premature rains and flood

• Immediate loan waiver will be granted to farmers.

• Crop Insurance scheme shall be revised to ensure immediate compensation to the farmers who have lost their crops.

• We shall undertake appropriate measures to ensure remunerative prices for farm produce.

• Adequate steps shall be initiated for the construction of sustainable water supply system for the drought-affected areas.

 

Unemployment

• The process of filling all the vacant posts in the State government shall be initiated immediately.

• A fellowship shall be provided for educated unemployed youth.

• A law shall be enacted to ensure 80% reservation in jobs for local/domicile youth.

 

Health

• To ensure good and affordable healthcare for all citizens, One Rupee Clinic will be launched at the taluka level facilitating all pathological tests.

• Super specialty hospitals and medical colleges shall be established in phased manner in all the districts.

• We shall provide health insurance cover to every citizen of the State.

 

Industry

• To attract new industries and investors in the State all possible concessions shall be extended and permission process shall be simplified.

• To attract new investment in Information Technology sector necessary policy reforms shall be unveiled.

 

Education

• All measures shall be undertaken to increase the standard of the education in the State.

• Children of farm laborers and students belonging to economically weaker section shall receive education loan at zero per cent interest rate.

 

Women

• Women’s safety shall be the highest priority.

• Girls from economically weaker section shall be given free education.

• Working women hostels shall be constructed at the cities and district headquarters.

• Honorarium shall be increased and service facilities shall be augmented for Anganwadi Sevikas / Asha workers.

• Women’s savings (self help groups) shall be strengthened.

 

 

Urban development

• To improve roads in the urban areas a scheme on the pattern of the Chief Minister Gram Sadak Yojana, shall be implemented. Separate financial provision shall be made to improve the road quality in nagar panchayats, municipal councils and municipal corporations.

• The coalition’s government shall provide, Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra, tenements of 500 sq. feet carpet area free of cost to the eligible slum dwellers under the slum rehabilitation programme instead of 300 sq. feet tenements.

 

Social justice

• To solve the pending questions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Dhangar, Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Balutadars, etc. so as not to deprive the common people of basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, education, health and employment as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

• The government shall adopt various schemes to eliminate the social, educational and economic backwardness of the minority community.

 

Tourism, arts and culture

• In view of the social importance of traditional tourist destinations in the State, special facilities will be developed for the growth of tourism.

 

Other important provisions

• Increase the facilities extended to senior citizens.

• Violators of the Food and Drug regulations shall be dealt with severe punishment.

• Provide cheap and efficient food for the common people in the State for ₹10 only.

 

Coordination committee

• There will be two coordination committees, one for coordination within the State Cabinet and the other for coordination among the alliance partners.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 2:24:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/glimmer-of-hope-for-asha-workers-healthcare-for-all/article30110995.ece

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