ASHA Workers March to Parliament
OVER six thousand ASHA workers from 11 states marched from Ram Lila Maidan and collected at Jantar Mantar to submit around 50 lakh signatures on a memorandum to the central government. The signatures were of ASHA workers, facilitators and beneficiaries as well as the general public.
The main demands were:
Ø To make the NHM a permanent programme of the government.
Ø No privatisation of the public health system.
Ø To improve infrastructure in all public health facilities.
Ø To increase the allocation for health to at least 6 per cent of the GDP.
Ø To implement the recommendations of the 45th and 46th ILC regarding scheme workers including regularisation of ASHA/USHA workers as ‘ Health Workers’; paying them minimum wages of Rs 18,000 per month with variable DA; giving them all social security benefits like pension, gratuity, maternity benefits, etc.
Ø Pending regularisation to pay them a fixed monthly remuneration equivalent to the statutory minimum wage for skilled workers in the respective states, in addition to the specified incentives.
The meeting at Jantar Mantar was inaugurated by Tapan Sen, general secretary of CITU, and addressed by Ranjana Nirula of the AICCAW. Asha Sharma from AIDWA, Suneet Chopra from All India Agricultural Workers Union, Vijoo Krishnan from All India Kisan Sabha, V P Sanu of SFI, Jai Bhagwan of the Midday Meal Workers Federation of India and A R Sindhu of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers spoke and expressed their solidarity with the ASHA workers.
A delegation, led by Tapan Sen and Ranjana Nirula, met the health secretary and submitted the memorandum and signatures to him. He assured the delegation that their demands would be looked into.
AICCAW has decided to participate in large numbers in the Trade Union Padav in the capital on November 9-11.