Andhra Pradesh

ASHA workers seek better deal

A dharna was organised by ASHA workers, on the banner of AP ASHA Workers Union, affiliated to the CITU, at the Gandhi statue near the GVMC on Wednesday.

Union honorary president P. Mani alleged that the State government was neglecting the welfare of ASHA workers, who have rendered invaluable services. The Central and the State governments were paying a meagre ₹10,000 a month as honorarium to them. They were not even being extended the benefit of various welfare schemes.

Though they were extended the ‘Cheyutha’ scheme last year, it was being denied to them this year. The ‘Jaganna Inti Sthalam’ (house site), housing loan and ‘Amma Vodi’ (in rural areas) were not being extended to them. Their workload has also been increased tremendously with each ASHA worker being made responsible for every 2,500 population in rural areas and 5,000 population in cities. In the past, each ASHA worker used to deal with 1,000 population. The government has declared that those earning an income of over ₹12,000 a month in urban areas as ‘ineligible’ for welfare schemes but ASHA workers were denied the benefits though they were earning only ₹10,000 a month. A majority of ASHA workers were women belonging to SC, ST, BC and those hailing from poor families. Their services were being terminated on completion of 60 years of age, without any retirement benefits like PF, ESI and pension.

The union leaders said that they had submitted several representations to the government in the past seeking a study on the financial status of anganwadi workers, recognising them as ‘workers’ and granting ₹21,000 as minimum wages to them or implementation of various government welfare schemes for them.

Union leaders Padmavathi, Parvathi, Polamma, Nagalakshmi and Jyothi led the protest.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 2:47:47 AM |

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