Does another death of an ASHA worker count? Will this soften the Government's stance! These are the questions that come to mind when we see another ASHA worker passing away on duty, due to fatigue, in Murena, Madhya Pradesh, India.
The ASHA workers are instituted by the ‘ National Rural Health Mission.’ They are at the bottom of the pyramid - the interface between the community and Indian Public Health Delivery System, the first point of contact for millions of Indians to health care.
Unfortunately, they enjoy no work related rights or legal protection, though their work is pivotal at all times. During the Coronavirus pandemic they worked doggedly round-the-clock as frontline workers, risking their life.
We know that the majority of India stays in villages. And being away from easy access to healthcare, the villagers are obliged to rely heavily on ASHA workers. The responsibility of health delivery in rural India lies heavily on the shoulders of ASHA workers. In return, ASHA workers do not even get paid regular monthly salaries, their job is not secure, they work without health insurance and get paid with incentives, often delayed or deducted.
To make matters worse, the Government is hardly providing them with the necessary amount of personal safety or medical testing equipment. It is astonishing to believe that an ASHA worker is often paid as little as 2800 a month, and because she is not registered as an employee of the government, she cannot enjoy benefits of the social security schemes for government employees.
The deceased ASHA worker in the video has left behind grieving young daughters, one of them is in college - she knows that her education will be stalled as her mother was paying for her education fees. Without her education, she will be denied opportunities to live a dignified life.
We demand that the ASHA workers be given the benefits of all schemes. We simply cannot let these front line selfless workers voices stay unheard. We cannot afford to lose another ASHA worker, she’s not an individual, she’s the embodiment of hope for us.
Please see and share our Desh ki ASHA campaign https://www.youtube.com/watch?
You can read the ASHA workers 11 demands, and request you to sign and share this petition. https://www.change.org/p/shri-
In this video, you can see that the Gram Panchayat office in Barbaspur village of Balod district has been in a dilapidated condition for 10 years, in Chattisgarh.