Dishada, an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker belonging to Tral, Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir says, we ASHA workers have to keep a complete information of the village. We do a survey of the village, find out about its total population. And the number of people who died, or who are born. We have to keep all this data. When COVID was there, and even today, if someone falls sick with COVID, we go to their homes, and give them medicines. After doing all this field work, our monthly salary is just Rs 2000. The work load given to us is too much. In return, we get too little compensation. Just one day’s expenditure that an ASHA worker bears is around Rs 2000 but we are forced to get only Rs 2000 salary for the whole month. It is our demand that we get a better salary. An ASHA worker becoming a permanent worker will take time, and we do not know when that will happen. This is our demand from all the ASHA workers in Pulwama that our salary must be at least Rs 10-15000 so that we can run our households properly.
Nashima, another ASHA worker appeals to the J&K government that the pay of ASHA workers should be equal to the amount of work they do. Their work goes on for 24 hours but they get only Rs 2000 as monthly salary.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently recognised India’s 10.4 lakh ASHA workers as ‘Global Health Leaders’ for their role in connecting the community to the health programmes of the government. ASHA workers provide hope by giving service to the community to support maternal care and immunization for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, communicable disease prevention and control. ASHA workers also serve in the core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation, and healthy living.
– News Desk, Kashmir Ahead