Jammu : Recalling the heroic role of ASHA workers alongside the paramedics during the most difficult times of pandemic, Senior BJP leader Devender Singh Rana on Wednesday said that these were the frontline workers who contributed to India’s war against Covid-19—an unprecedented and unparalleled crusade acknowledged the world over.
“You have religiously performed a huge role in serving the humanity during the most difficult times at the altar of your lives and now it is for the administration to ensure that your legitimate demands are fulfilled, which is being done a phased manner”, Rana told a delegation of hundreds of ASHA Workers Union – Jammu, led by its Working President Mr Om Prakash and the other functionaries who met him at his residence.
Devender Rana said the nation in general and Jammu and Kashmir in particular will remain indebted to all the frontline workers for winning the war against Covid and saving the lives of millions.b He assured that their legitimate demands would be taken up with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who has been very compassionate in solving the issues facing people and all categories of employees. He hoped that these would merit earnest attention from the administration.
ASHA Workers Union – Jammu stated that ASHA workers played a crucial role in the fight against the Covid pandemic. There are approximately 13, 000 ASHA workers within Jammu & Kashmir’s public health system and a number of them have sacrificed their lives while saving thousands of others during this fight. Despite their selfless dedication and exceptional services throughout the pandemic, where they risked their lives and the lives of their families, the government has yet to acknowledge their contributions by providing permanent employment, fair wages, social security, and pensions, as recommended by the 45th and 46th Indian Labour Conferences.
The Union also highlighted the discrepancy in wages for ASHA workers across Union Territory and pointed out that ASHA workers in states like Puducherry, Haryana, Kerala, Telangana, and Gujarat receive wages/remuneration of Rs 10,000, which is considerably more than the Rs 2,000 paid to ASHAs in Jammu & Kashmir. The Union underscored that ASHA workers, often on duty for nearly 24 hours a day, face an increased workload without leave, and are expected to digitise all activities without access to mobile phones. It demanded a minimum wage of Rs 26,000 for ASHA workers, alongside social security provisions such as pension, EPF, and ESI.
Inter-alia the Union also sought an increase in monthly remuneration/wages from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000, annual increments of Rs 1,000, mobile phone allowances up to Rs 500 per month, provision of appropriate attire, settlement of pending incentives, removal of additional work responsibilities, revision of long-pending incentives, provision of accommodation at PHCs/hospitals, prompt payment of JSY, implementation of the Supreme Court judgment on ex-gratia, full reimbursement of travel expenses, provision of high-quality smartphones for all ASHAs, promotion of trained ASHAs to FMPHW, and the assurance that no ASHA will retire until pension and social security schemes are put in place.