Congress backs ASHA workers on stir for pay hike


PTI, Jul 22, 2020, 3:16 PM IST

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Bengaluru: The Congress on Wednesday said it would support the demands of accredited social health activists (ASHA) that include a hike in their remuneration. To press for the demands, the party said it would call for ”Bengaluru Chalo” and lay siege to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa”s house.

The state Congress chief D K Shivakumar met the ASHA workers at Nelamangala on the city outskirts and listened to their grievances. He said he sympathises with them and recognises their work during the pandemic.

Later, he tweeted, “Met the protesting ASHA workers in Nelamangala yesterday. (Tuesday). We will do a ”Bengaluru Chalo” with them and lay siege to Yediyurappa”s house if this government fails to meet demands of ASHA workers in three days.”

The workers have been on stir for the last 12 days but the government has not bothered to meet them at least.

In his letter to the Chief Minister, Shivakumar said the role of ASHA workers is significant in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak but ignoring them is a matter of grave concern.

He said more than 42,000 ASHA workers have been on strike since July 10, demanding a hike in their salary totalling Rs 12,000.

“We are getting Rs 4,000 from the State and around Rs 2,000 from the Central government. The central aid varies and sometimes it does not come on time. We get about Rs 6,000 a month,” said an office-bearer of the ASHA Workers Union Hanuemesh G.

He said the workers are among the frontline corona warriors, hence they should be given personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, COVID-19 insurance and pay in case they get infected by the coronavirus.

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