Namesake Award, No Reward: Turning a Blind eye towards Financial Remuneration of ASHA workers

Press Release

Congratulate Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) Workers for WHO including them in Global Health Leaders

Government must Recognise them as Workers

The following Press Statement was issued on 24th May 2022 by the All India ASHA Workers Federation of AITUC on the occasion of global tributes of WHO to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers.

The World Health Organization has conferred the” Global Health Leaders” award for 2022 on the ASHA. ASHA workers share the award with five other recipients at the Global level. WHO’s global plaudits go to prove the unmatched and immense contribution of the ASHA workers in primary health care services.

The All India ASHA Workers Federation of AITUC sends its heartiest greetings to the over 10 lakh ASHA workers in India. We thank the World Health Organization for rightly conferring the award on the most deserving ASHA workers.
At this juncture of joy, the supreme irony of sorts blares at the bitter fact that these million workers are not even recognized as workers in India. No wages except the paltry sum of Rs2000/ per month and the meagre incentives are all that they get. For decades, the ASHA workers’ demand for regularisation of their services and defined minimum wages have fallen on deaf ears.

The press statement issued by WHO on this occasion states that the award was bestowed on the ASHA workers for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system to ensure that those living in rural poverty can access primary health care services. Besides, the fact that this award is granted in recognition of leadership, contribution to the advance of global health and commitment to the regional health issues goes to vouch safe the permanent nature of the work that the ASHA workers do.

The award may be attributed to their particular work during the pandemic, which the ASHA workers did over and above their activities of maternal care, immunization of children and community health care; their contribution in bringing down the MMR and IMR have been applauded by all the governments time and again. But, as the saying goes, you don’t lead by lip service; you lead by example. That exemplary example may dawn now on the otherwise gloomy lives of the uncertainty of ASHA workers.

The All India ASHA Workers Federation of AITUC exhorts the union government to announce an equivalent return of compliment to the ASHA workers whose services have received accolades to the nation on the global platform. They deserve nothing less than regularisation of their services with Rs18000/ monthly salary. We hope that greetings of admiration translate into reality of rendering justice to these ASHA workers. This is long overdue. We call upon the union government to immediately announce the most befitting award of permanency of jobs with Rs18000/monthly salary to the ASHA workers who have brought laurels to the nation.

Vahida Nizam, 9884220914
National Secretary, AITUC
& for All India ASHA Workers Federation

Sukumar Damle
National Secretary, AITUC
Mob: 9869201422

Author

  • Zubiya Moin

    Zubiya Moin is a Research intern at IMPRI. She is currently pursuing Bachelors in Economics (Hons.) at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.

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