ASHA workers protest in Panchkula against Haryana govt over non-fulfilment of demands
: Hundreds of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, some accompanied by their infant children, protested against the Haryana government over non-fulfilment of demands for over six hours at the Housing Board light point in Panchkula on Wednesday.
The protest was organised by Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Haryana, wherein ASHA workers from four districts – Panchkula, Karnal, Yamunanagar, Ambala raised a stir. As many as 2,000 ASHA workers have been protesting since August 7.
“The Haryana government is mistreating the Corona warriors. ASHA workers are playing a crucial role in the fight against Covid-19, but our basic demands are not being met,” said Jai Bhagwan, general secretary, CITU, Haryana.
One of the demands is that the ASHA workers, who are on Covid duty, should be given risk allowance of Rs 4,000 per month.
“Their work is incentive based and the Haryana government was paying an additional 50% to what the central government was paying, but they stopped it. We want the Khattar government to reinstate the withdrawn 50% incentive. The central government pays Rs 1,000 per month to Covid warriors, and as promised, the Haryana government owes us its 50% (Rs 500 per month), which they are not paying,” Bhagwan said.
They gathered in Panchkula at around 11am and started their march towards Vidhan Sabha at around 1pm. However, they were stopped at Housing Board light point by the police. Giving social distancing a miss, the workers continued the protest and sat in scorching heat shouting anti-government slogans. It also led to blocking of vehicular movement.
“At 6.30pm, we had a meeting with the officer on special duty, Krishan Bedi, which lasted for an hour. He assured that as soon as chief minister Khattar recovers from the virus, we will be called for a meeting. We have decided to end the 20-day strike, but protests will continue,” said Surekha, general secretary, ASHA Workers Union, Haryana said.