Govt has agreed to Asha workers' demands: Jain

New Delhi: The Delhi government has agreed to the terms of the Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) workers who have been protesting for better pay, security and incentives, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.

On July 27, the Delhi Asha Workers' Association (DAWA) had met with Jain with their demand — Rs 10,000 monthly salary — and be provided with PPE kits and compensation. As of now, the health minister told Millennium Post that the Delhi government has agreed to Rs 3,000 as core incentive and Rs 1,000 extra for those on COVID-19 duty.

Jain said, "We already have a Rs 1 crore compensation for Asha workers who get infected while working on the frontlines in this pandemic and succumb to the Coronavirus. We have already agreed to their demands. In addition to that, we have also approved Rs 500 per day for house-to-house surveys that each Asha worker will do. We have also agreed to their demand for better basic pay." To date, the case-to-case incentive can range from Rs 50-200 when Asha workers get children vaccinated.

President of Dilli Asha Kamgar Union, Shweta Raj said, "We are yet to receive information from the Delhi Government on incentives and basic pay increase. Asha workers want to be recognised as minimum-wage workers and not volunteers because it is a full-time job. Also, we are yet to receive PPE kits, masks and hand sanitisers. Asha workers even today have to buy essential safety gear for themselves on their own without any assistance from the government."

The Central Trade Union in a meeting on Friday has decided to write to the Home Ministry regarding the FIR filed against the protesting Asha workers in Delhi, "a joint statement will also be issued after that and on August 18 the Union will observe a National Protest Day," Raj added.

Moreover, Jain also said, in a bid to make healthcare services accessible to all, the Health Department will be working on increasing the number of Mohalla Clinics in the coming months. "We want to make free healthcare services available for all. It should be accessible within walking distance people should not have to travel far for it," he added.

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