Asked to get smartphones for survey, ASHA workers in Ludhiana stage protest

Updated on Jun 15, 2020 06:28 PM IST

The workers also said that they are being asked to collect details such as name, parents names, mobile number, gender, age, occupation and ailments of all persons aged above 30, which seems to be an infringement of privacy

ASHA workers staging a protest outside the civil surgeon’s office in Ludhiana on Monday.(GURPREET SINGH/HT)
ASHA workers staging a protest outside the civil surgeon’s office in Ludhiana on Monday.(GURPREET SINGH/HT)
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By, Ludhiana

Struggling to arrange ‘latest smartphones’ for the health department’s recently launched door-to-door survey, ASHA workers in Ludhiana staged a protest outside the civil surgeon’s office and raised slogans against health authorities on Monday.

Leading the protest, All India ASHA Worker and Facilitators Union’s state unit president Jeet Kaur said, “A majority of ASHA workers don’t own a smart phone. Moreover, we are being asked to collect details such as name, parents names, mobile number, gender, age, occupation and ailments of all persons aged above 30. This seems to be an infringement of privacy.”

She added that ASHA workers will be given merely Rs 4 to fill one form, which is three-pages long.

The union’s district president, Balbir Kaur said it was the sixth survey in three months. “Earlier, we had conducted a verbal survey for generating awareness about the spread of Covid-19. Thereafter, we did a survey to check if there were any positive patients in the localities. Then we went to gather details on Tablighi Jamaat followers, devotees who returned from Holla Mohalla and recently returned NRIs,” said Kaur.

Demanding to make the survey a paper-based one, a delegation of ASHA workers handed over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner’s office later in the day. They also demanded that some private details should be eliminated so as to maintain patients’ privacy.

Civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Baggar said that staging a protest was not a solution. “Instead of discussing their concern, the workers began raising slogans,” he said.

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