Govt neglecting ASHA workers: CITU

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 28: Expressing serious concern over the plight of ASHA workers who act as backbone of the health system, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) today accused the Government of neglecting their demands.
ASHA workers have been protesting since quite some time and staged protest demonstrations at almost every district today in the Jammu & Kashmir, highlighting their genuine demands, seeking regularization and increased incentives for their work.
These workers are given tasks such as conducting health surveys of households in the areas, besides routine vaccinations and health-related works. These workers under NHM Act as a bridge between Government and people due to a human resource shortage in the health system and are working on meagre incentives.
The Government must recognise the role of these workers and take measures for their regularization. These workers may be covered under Minimum Wages Act and provided social security and pension benefits. There are reports that some workers are assigned other work such as issuing tickets which overburdened their work, and must be stopped immediately.
CITU urged the Government to recognise the services of these ASHA workers and pay them adequate honorarium, maternity benefits, mobile phones, social security, pension and priority during recruitment of ANMs.