Srinagar – Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers working under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) today held a rally under the banner of Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) at Sher-i-Kashmir Park Srinagar.
These workers raised a number of demands which include NRHM to be made a permanent Scheme, government employee status for ASHAs, enhancement and timely monthly salary, six hours of duty, supply of special kits, social security benefits like E.P.F. & pension, adequate protection in the field and issuance of identity cards.
Addressing the rally, General Secretary All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers & Helpers, K. Hemlata said that ASHAs are a crucial component of the NRHM, and are working for the betterment of health services for the benefit of the community at large. ASHA workers work tirelessly and selflessly, despite all the difficulties they are confronted with. The government must acknowledge the contribution made by the ASHA workers to the implementation of the NRHM and the improvement of the health status of the poor, especially of mothers and infants, in the country and concede their justified demands, she added.
State President CITU, M Y Tarigami while addressing the rally said that the government started the National Rural Health Mission with much fanfare but totally neglected the women who were working as ASHAs. He stated that the practice of engaging thousands of women in the name of social workers, activists, volunteers etc has increased, as the government wanted to withdraw from its responsibility of providing the basic facilities of health, education etc to the poor. Women were asked to provide all these services to the community, but without proper wages or recognition, he added. Tarigami urged the government to take a serious note of the discontent among the ASHA workers and take the necessary action for the immediate fulfillment of their demands. He exhorted the ASHAs not only to strengthen their own organization but also to join the broader struggle against the anti people policies of the government.
Earlier J&K ASHA Workers Union held its 1st State Conference at Srinagar. The conference elected Misra Banoo as State President and Sunita Bagaht was elected as State General Secretary of the Union.
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