Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced an increase in the monthly honorarium given to Anganwadi workers and helpers.
He also announced the doubling of “routine incentives” given to ASHA workers for various activities under the National Health Mission.
All ASHA workers and their helpers would also be provided free insurance cover under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.
The prime minister made the announcements while interacting with various teams of Anganwadi workers, Asha workers and the auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM)s through video conferencing.
The revised honorarium of the Anganwadi workers and helpers, as well as the increased incentives to the ASHA health workers, will become effective from next month.
Hailing the move, Textile Minister Smriti Irani, at a press conference in the BJP headquarters, said that while the Congress leadership was busy augmenting "personal finances," the prime minister is working towards empowering the poor through measures like increasing wages of the Anganwadi workers.
As per the revised rates, Anganwadi workers, who have been receiving Rs 3,000 per month as honorarium so far, would now get Rs 4,500 per month.
Anganwadi workers of mini-Anganwadis would now get Rs 3,500 per month as honorarium, instead of Rs 2,200 per month.
The Anganwadi helpers, who currently get Rs 1,500 per month as honorarium, would receive Rs 2,250 from next month.
“The prime minister also announced that Anganwadi workers and helpers using techniques such as Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS), would get additional incentives. The incentives, ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 500, would be based on performance,” the Women and Child Development ministry said.
Under the National Health Mission, the ASHA workers are envisaged to be voluntary health activists and are entitled to tasks or activity-based incentives.
The prime minister's announcement comes ahead of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram by the end the year and the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
The Anganwadi workers and others were demanding an increase in their honorarium and incentives for a long time.