ASHA workers India’s pride, deserve better wage & working conditions: Oppn leaders after WHO honour

NEW DELHI, May 23:  After the World Health Organization honoured ASHA workers, a host of opposition leaders hailed their contributions in the healthcare sector and said the Government must ensure better wages and working conditions for them.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the award recognises their selfless service and the Government must ensure better wages to them. He said the ASHA workers are the pride of the country and they deserve a life of dignity.

“India’s 10-lakh strong all-women ASHA workers are our pride. WHO’s award recognises their selfless service. This visionary initiative of UPA from 2005 is the lifeline of our health infra. GOI must ensure better wages and work conditions. ASHA workers deserve a life of dignity,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

Accredited Social Health Activists, or ASHA workers, were conferred the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s Global Health Leaders’ Award on Sunday for their crucial role in providing direct access to healthcare facilities in rural areas and their indefatigable efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Government must take immediate steps to end their ill-treatment.

“Well deserved Congratulations! WHO honoured ASHA workers for their crucial role ‘to ensure those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services’. Their ill-treatment must end. Modi Government must immediately act,” Yechury said on Twitter.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the WHO honour for ASHA workers is a matter of pride for the entire country.

“The UPA Government had appointed ASHA sisters to provide health services to the last person in the villages and fields. At the time of Corona, the ASHA sisters did this work in an unprecedented manner, without worrying about themselves,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced six awards on Sunday to recognise outstanding contributions to advancing global health, demonstrated leadership and commitment to regional health issues.

“The Accredited Social Health Activist Workers (ASHA) are more than 1 million female volunteers in India, honored for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system and ensuring that those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services,” the WHO said in a tweet.

“ASHA – means ‘hope’ in Hindi. These health workers provide maternal care & immunization for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; community health care; treatment for hypertension & tuberculosis & core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation & healthy living,” it said. (PTI)