Members of accredited social health activist (ASHA) workers and facilitator union staged a protest outside local bodies minister Bhagat Chunni Lal's house, seeking better remuneration for a survey they have been assigned to identify cancer patients.
Asha workers gathered at Desh Bhagat
Yaadgar Hall and moved towards minister's house, raising anti-government slogans. Amarjit Kaur, president of the union, said: "If the government doesn't respond positively to our genuine demands, we will intensify the struggle."
Asha workers and health facilitators holding a dharna outside the local bodies minister Bhagat Chunni Lal's house in Jalandhar on Saturday. Pardeep Pandit/HT
Director, health and family welfare, Dr Ashok Nayyar, said that demands of the Asha workers were unjustified as they had already been paid Rs. 200 each at the time of training for the survey.
"Besides this, they will also get additional Rs. 300 for each cancer patient they identify. Each worker has to survey just 100 households in her own village. They don't have to move outside their respective villages," Dr Nayyar said.
The health department had launched a 15-day campaign from December 1, wherein Asha workers and other health facilitators were to go door-to-door to list cancer patients and spread awareness regarding the disease. Asha workers, however, boycotted the survey against payment of Rs. 200 each of them for the job. They are demanding Rs. 2,000 for every worker.