After the online protests by ASHA workers on Monday, May 24, 2021, Rs 1000 has been credited to their accounts.
Mysuru: Manju, an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker from Bannur taluk in Mysuru was surprised to see that her account had been credited with Rs 1000 by the Karnataka state health department, following online protests on May 24. “I have received only Rs 1000, and none of the other demands have been met. This money should have been ideally paid to us a month ago, and they did it now as soon as they realised that all the workers were protesting,” she said.
She continued, “They know that we don’t leave our jobs during the pandemic since jobs are scarce, that’s why they paid only this much, otherwise, they would have at least considered other demands, if they thought we would leave our jobs.”
Sandhya PS, district advisor, Karnataka State Samyuktha ASHA Workers Association said, “They just got Rs.1000 to their accounts. They started crediting this money on the same evening the protests were held, and they continued it on Tuesday, May 25, as well.”
Shubhamangala, former ASHA workers union president, Mysuru, said, “On Tuesday I found that ASHA workers received Rs 1000 from the health department. This is the amount we are supposed to get for the Covid-19 duty that we do, this was only a part of the demands, but one step has been taken.”
Komala, an ASHA worker in Mysuru is relieved that she has received some amount of money after the protest. “I know it’s nothing, the department just gave us the money , but I’m relieved because, at this time, any amount of money is welcome,” she said.
The government does not seem to be serious about the issue at all, said Sanghamitra Choudhury, faculty at Sikkim Central University. “Providing Rs 1000 is just a peanut to contain the growing discontent. It is just an eyewash, it is done so that things will not become worse for them,” she added.
The National Human Right Commission (NHRC), meanwhile, has issued notices to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Chief Secretaries of states calling for reports on the allegations of poor working conditions of ASHA workers across the country.