Health dept may club surveys, ease Asha workers’ burden

Asha workers have been on an indefinite protest since Friday. Among the demands was that they must be paid adequately if involved in gathering data for surveys or be exempted from the duty.

The department of health and family welfare is likely to streamline its survey work and have it all conducted at one go.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner, department of health and family welfare, said the department has readied a proposal where all surveys pertaining to health will happen at one go.

Currently, surveys pertaining communicable and non-communicable diseases, nutrition, eligibility surveys for various schemes among others are being conducted round the year.

“We are planning to have a single-time comprehensive survey. This will bring down the workload on Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha workers),” said Pandey. 

Asha workers have been on an indefinite protest since Friday. Among the demands was that they must be paid adequately if involved in gathering data for surveys or be exempted from the duty.

Once the plan is implemented, Asha workers need not make multiple visits to houses for surveys throughout the year.

Nagalakshmi B, state secretary, Asha Workers Union, told DH that Asha workers were involved in other work apart from their routine, but are never paid for the same.

“The larval survey happens round the year. There are 40 of them from the department of health and family welfare alone,” said Nagalakshmi.

The health department claimed that only 14 were commissioned by it, while it was unaware of the Asha workers being involved in the rest.

“We receive orders from the deputy commissioner’s office, that we must participate in certain surveys at the district and taluk levels. Who pays for that? We are told orally that the Asha workers will be given Rs 100 to Rs 200 for the surveys. But the remuneration has not come,” she claimed.

Stir to continue

A day after about 15,000 of them sat on a protest at Freedom Park, Asha workers continued to boycott work on Saturday. They have said that they would not return to work till they are paid the dues for 15 months. 

“It was not the fault of Asha workers that there were technical glitches in the software. They have the hard copy of the data they have collected. The department must take that into consideration,” said Nagalakshmi.

She said that they had asked the government to pay Rs 3,000 a month for every Asha worker for the last 15 months.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)