J&K: Government Must Concede ASHA Workers Demands
ASHA workers, who essentially act as backbone of health structure in rural areas of the region, are compelled to work on paltry emoluments. The government has totally neglected them. They have been fighting for better remuneration over the last many years but to no avail, thus compelling them to resort to strikes and dharnas. Recently the workers were on protest in every district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The senior officers of the health department including NHM officials met the delegations of respective ASHA workers unions. The union leaders apprised them about their long pending legitimate demands and expressed their serious concern about the responsiveness regarding resolution of these issues. The government officers assured them that their demands of enhancement of incentives will be recommended to the union health ministry. They also assured them about an increase of Rs 1000 to their assured incentive besides increase in uniform allowance upto Rs 3200 and Rs 150 for desk duty. As such the union leaders informed their respective committees and after threadbare discussion and keeping in view the assurance of the department, decided to suspend their protests for time being.
It is learnt that the health department submitted these proposals to the union health ministry and the government has in principle agreed and as such, it is expected that the assurances will be implemented from next financial year.
Similarly, anganwadi workers, helpers and ICDS supervisors working under ICDS are without wages and salaries for the past several months.
These employees and workers have to feed their families, but despite working hard, they are not paid their wages on time.