ASHA workers protest again

They say demand for higher honorarium not met despite assurance given by Health Minister two months ago

Updated - September 23, 2020 02:26 pm IST

Published - September 23, 2020 02:22 pm IST - Bengaluru

 ASHA workers staging a protest at Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

ASHA workers staging a protest at Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Demanding a fixed monthly honorarium of ₹12,000, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers from across the State staged a massive protest at Freedom Park in the city on Wednesday.

After withdrawing their 20-day strike in July following an assurance from Health Minister B. Sriramulu that their demand for a fixed monthly honorarium of ₹12,000 would be considered, ASHA workers are now upset that their demand has not been met even after two months.

Under the aegis of Karnataka Rajya Samyukta ASHA Karyakartheyara Sangha affiliated to All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), workers from across the State assembled at Freedom Park.

“Our primary demand is a fixed monthly honorarium of ₹12,000. ASHA workers have been frontline warriors during the COVID-19 pandemic but are paid only ₹4,000 per month. Despite an assurance from the Minister, nothing has happened even after two months,” said D. Nagalakshmi, State secretary of the Sangha.

Their other demands include regular health checks for all ASHA workers, and provision of face masks, hand sanitizers, gloves and PPE kits.

Meanwhile, the Sangha members have alleged that the State government used police force to stop ASHA workers from reaching Bengaluru at the taluk level, bus stops and checkposts. The workers were made to get down from buses and at some places they have been taken to police stations, the Sangha alleged.

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