Providing some relief to the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA workers), the mission director of NRHM, Husan Lal has decided to give preference to these workers when they take patients for treatment at government hospitals.
The members of Asha workers and facilitators of Union Punjab conducted a meeting with Husan Lal at Circuit House on Friday.
Lal said the ASHA workers would now get paid by the 15th of every month as earlier they used to get incentives after every three to four months.
The members are going to observe a hunger strike in Lambi on December 29, a constituency from where chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had won assembly election.
Tarsem Singh Jodhan, former MLA, who led the delegation of Asha workers, said, 'We gave a memorandum containing 14 demands. The ASHA workers have been exploited a lot as they get low incentives for performing a difficult job. We have also demanded free treatment facility for Asha workers during the meeting. It was also decided that they would be given uniforms."
Husan Lal accepted some demands while assured to consider the other demands. On a demand of ASHA workers, he said, they would distribute 100 kits to the workers and if they were satisfied with these bags only then they would order for more. The bag would include required medicines and first-aid.
In the meeting, it was also decided to give identity cards to ASHA workers and felicitators. The workers had also demanded for a place for rest at the government hospitals and Husan Lal assured to take it into consideration.
Ranjit Kaur, general secretary of the union said, "We want the government to regularise their posts and give them respectful salaries so that they can run their homes. Some of our demands were accepted but we are going to organise a rally on December 29 in Lambi for our pending demands."
Amarjit Kaur, president of the union said, "When ASHA workers take pregnant women to the doctors, the rest of the staff does not give them any preference. They are provided with very low payments."