Maharashtra: Asha workers await Covid-19 incentives since April, to protest on Sept 24

Over 1.50 lakh Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers will be going on a strike from September 24. Despite the assurance of ₹1,000 incentive from the Central government for testing and tracing Covid-19 patients, Asha workers still await the remuneration since April 2021.

Since the announcement of the pandemic in March 2020, Asha workers have been doing door-to-door surveys of infected Covid-19 patients for contact tracing of closed contacts. They also visit villagers to maintain data of children with malnutrition and health updates of pregnant women. This often makes them vulnerable to contracting Covid on the field, as claimed by the Asha workers. Already 45 Asha workers have lost their lives to the novel coronavirus in Maharashtra, since its outbreak.

Though the pandemic curve has flattened in the state, a few districts like Pune, Aurangabad and Sangli are still recording a higher positivity rate than the state’s average which stands at 3.1%. Despite this, the central government has stopped playing them the Covid-19 incentives of ₹1,000.
RELATED STORIES

Two-hour farmers’ protest throws traffic out of gear in Ludhiana

Two-hour farmers’ protest throws traffic out of gear in Ludhiana
Chandigarh admn employees to receive salary hike from October

Chandigarh admn employees to receive salary hike from October
Punjab roadways contractual staff to go on strike from Sept 6

Punjab roadways contractual staff to go on strike from Sept 6
Maharashtra govt insists on Covid-appropriate behaviour as festive season nears, cases rise in some districts

Maharashtra govt insists on Covid-appropriate behaviour as festive season nears, cases rise in some districts

“It is the responsibility of the Asha workers to track the close contacts of the infected patients. Also, daily, they have to maintain the health updates of malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. These expose the workers to contracting Covid-19 cases. Despite this, they aren’t getting their Covid-19 incentives,” said MA Patil from Maharashtra Rajya Asha Gatpravatak Karamchari Kruti Samiti. “Although doctors from private setups get lakhs for their services,” he added.

The Asha workers get an honorarium amount between ₹4,000 to ₹8,500 depending on their experience.

“These workers are risking their lives for such less honorarium amount. Also, we didn’t get the hiked payment of ₹2,000 from April 2021 onward. No one cares for the foot soldiers who are risking their lives amid the pandemic,” said Patil.

In response to the allegations, state-wide Asha workers have decided to go on a strike on September 24.

“The state government had recently declared to pay them ₹3,000 addition but so far, it hasn’t been implemented. This is unethical,” he said.

 

https://online-tvchannel.org/