Govt neglects ASHA workers, Tarigami says in Kupwara

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Srinagar

State President CITU Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Tuesday said the government has totally neglected the women working as ASHAs, although it had started the National Rural Health Mission with much fanfare.  The government must provide a dignified monthly honorarium to these activists who essentially act as the backbone of the health structure in rural areas of the state, he said while addressing a day-long convention of ASHA Workers in Town Hall Kupwara. The convention was presided over by Jabeena, ASHA leader and representatives from various parts of Kashmir region attended it.

Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami. KL file image

The custom of paying poor compensation for extremely hard work should come to an end to protect the women folk working in different sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. ASHAs work in rough terrains of rural areas tirelessly and selflessly, despite all the difficulties they are confronted with. He cautioned the government to take serious note of the brewing discontentment among these workers and take necessary action for the immediate fulfilment of their demands, failing which, the national health mission may get affected badly, Tarigami said in a statement.

In Andhra Pradesh, ASHAs are paid Rs. 10000 pm, in Sikkim (Rs. 6000/month, Haryana- Rs. 4000/month, Karnataka-Rs.3500/month, West Bengal-Rs.3000/month and Kerala-Rs.2000/month. Besides, the state governments in various states are providing top-up incentives and support to these poor workers but our state government has neglected them.

ASHA leaders Mubeena, Jabeena, Tahira, Rafiqa, Syeda, Dilshada Malik, Zahida, Misra, Rubeena, Sara, Mehfooza, Shakeela and Haseena exhorted upon ASHAs to strengthen the organization for the broader struggle against the anti-people policies of the government. They said that the government must acknowledge the contribution of ASHAs to the NHM and the improvement of the health status of the poor, especially mothers and infants.

Others who spoke on the occasion included senior CITU leaders, Ab Gani Bhat and Ab Rashid Najar who demanded social security benefits like pension, gratuity and maternity benefits to these activists.

Contingent paid workers (CPWs) and Mid-day meal workers also attended the convention and expressed solidarity with the ASHAs for fighting for genuine demands. The convention adopted resolutions which include providing minimum wages @ Rs. 18000/- per month, social security benefits, women empowerment etc.

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