Talks with Maharashtra govt fail; 70,000 Asha workers to continue indefinite strike

Published on Jun 16, 2021 11:51 PM IST

Around 70,000 Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers in Maharashtra will continue their indefinite strike for a third consecutive day (on Thursday) as their talks with the state government for an increase in the monthly honorarium failed

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HT Image
By, Mumbai

Around 70,000 Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers in Maharashtra will continue their indefinite strike for a third consecutive day (on Thursday) as their talks with the state government for an increase in the monthly honorarium failed.

Asha workers have claimed that the state government has refused to hike their honorarium on the grounds that they are facing a financial crunch.

Currently, the Asha workers receive around 6,000 per month, which includes 1,000 as Covid allowance from the Centre. They want the honorarium to be increased up to 18,000.

State Asha Workers Action Committee president MA Patil held a meeting with the state health minister Rajesh Tope and reiterated the demands. “We asked the state government to hike the honorarium. The health minister too admitted that the demand made by us is reasonable and expressed sympathy to the hardship being faced by Asha workers. But also said that they are not in a position to increase burden owing to the financial crisis,” Patil said.

It was the second meeting with the health minister in the last three days. The first meeting was held on Monday. “We want a sum as remuneration which will help Asha workers to survive at least as they are working for eight hours a day,” he stressed.

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.

“The health minister didn’t even assure to consider the demands or offer any proposal,” Patil said, adding that they want the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to intervene and get them justice.

Asha workers are on indefinite strike since Tuesday.

Asha or Accredited Social Health Activist was formed under the National Rural Health Mission to provide every village in the country with a trained female community health activist. They have played 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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