Asha workers call off strike; Maharashtra govt to hike pay by 1.5K

Published on Jun 23, 2021 11:43 PM IST

Over 70,000 Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers in Maharashtra decided to end their strike on Wednesday after the state government declared to increase their honorarium by ₹1500 a month from July

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By, Mumbai

Over 70,000 Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers in Maharashtra decided to end their strike on Wednesday after the state government declared to increase their honorarium by 1500 a month from July. Asha workers were on indefinite strike in the state from June 15.

The state has also assured to provide a smartphone to all the Asha workers and an additional allowance of 200 for crowd management duty at vaccination centres. The decision was taken in a meeting with representatives of Asha workers and state health minister Rajesh Tope, on Wednesday.

They were receiving around 6,000 per month that included 1,000 as allowance for Covid duty from the Centre. The state Asha Workers Action Committee had demanded to increase the honorarium up to 18,000.

It was the third meeting called to resolve the issue as the state government was not ready to increase honorarium, saying that they were facing a financial crunch.

Tope said, “After discussions, we have decided to increase fixed honorarium by 1,000 and 500 for Covid duty a month from July 1. We have also decided to provide smartphones to all the Asha workers which will be very useful for them in their day to day work.”

“We have also decided to provide another 200 as an additional allowance for crowd management duty at vaccination centres. Besides, 500 will also be increased in the honorarium from next year,” he added.

The state has around 71,867 Asha workers that include 3,570 supervisors also known as ‘Gat Pravertak’. The hike will bring an additional burden of 202 crore on the state exchequer.

Asha workers are considered the backbone of the rural healthcare system in the state. They have been playing a significant role in the state’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Asha was formed under the National Rural Health Mission to provide every village in the country with a trained female community health activist. They have been playing an important role in implementing various health schemes across the state.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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