Shillong, May 09: About 500 ASHA workers and facilitators under the umbrella of the Meghalaya ASHA Workers Union and Meghalaya ASHA Facilitators Union from across the state including Garo Hills took to the street in Shillong today where they demanded the state government recognition of the workers work and to increase the budget allocation for the health center and providing a fixed allocation of monthly payment to the ASHA workers and facilitators beside others.
The workers who carried banners and placard and shouted slogans and staged a protest demonstration at Additional Secretariat parking lot here on Tuesday.
The workers under the leadership of the President of the ASHA Facilitators Union and ASHA Workers Union, Happylin Pyrtuh later met the Chief Secretary of Meghlaya , Kuljit Singh Kropha and submitted a Joint memorandum to him where they highlighted their various demands and grievances face by the workers.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting , Pyrtuh informed that the CS told them that he will see what can be done and also inquired about their working procedure , but however fail to give any decision on the matter.
She further informed that most of the ASHA workers and facilitators hails from poor family background and are facing hardship while performing self-less duties for the improvement of mother and child care under various state health programme and Central schemes etc..
“In order to be able to take care of others, the workers themselves needs proper attention of the concern authorities because the remuneration paid to the ASHA workers and facilitators are inadequate to even sustain themselves,” she said.
Informing that they have submitted a memorandum to the CS where they have demanded, the increase in the budget allocation for the health center and providing a fixed allocation of monthly payment to the ASHA workers and facilitators, including to provide universal social security coverage like provide provident fund, ESI, pension, etc, she further said that they have also demanded to bring the workers under the umbrella of various other social security schemes and to provide traveling allowances for covering distant places for the purpose of implementing the scheme including to allow maternity leave to eligible ASHA workers and facilitators.
She added, “There are over 6000 ASHA workers in the state, and we demanded that any other incentive and benefit (from both Central and State) which ASHA workers in other parts of the country are getting should also be applicable and implemented in our state and maintain uniformity among all ASHA workers.”