ASHA workers seek monthly wage

in protest: Members of ASHA stage a protest demanding better amenities, in Bangalore on Monday. DH photo

The workers, who had gathered at Freedom Park here, outlined the troubles faced with the reduced income and demanded that they get a fixed wage to help them make a better living.

S Saroja, the treasurer of ASHA Workers Union said some of the women were not getting the payments for months together and this system had to be streamlined. They are also demanding a fixed monthly wage, disbursing the honourariums through banks and resting facilities for them at the health centres.

National Rural Health Mission Director S Selvakumar agreed that problems existed in the State with regard to disbursing of honourariums. “The money is disbursed at the 2,300 primary health centres in the State. We know of problems at some of these centres and we are trying to streamline this,” he said.

As far as the circular was concerned, he said the Centre did not consider the State a ‘high focus state’ or a state where greater intervention was required. “The amount of Rs 600 per delivery is given only in ‘high focus’ states. The other states have Rs 200 per delivery and the government had corrected that amount,” he pointed out.

The loss of amount has been made up by offering incentives if they took part in programmes like registration of births and deaths, creating awareness on contagious diseases and other programmes.

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