ASHA Workers Demand Safety and Health for All Observe Demands Day on 25 June 2020

Thousands of ASHA workers and facilitators, and other frontline health workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in our country, today came out to protest against their conditions of work and to demand public better health services for the people, at the call of the All India Coordination Committee of ASHA Workers (CITU).  In most of the states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, AP and Kerala they protested at the PHCs, CHCs etc and submitted memoranda to the local authorities, which were also forwarded to the Health Ministers at state and central level.

Considering the arduous and risky nature of their work, going door to door to survey the population for Covid 19 infections, and guiding the public about safety measures, they are not even provided the necessary protective gear. Many have been infected and several have died.

They submitted a 14 point demand charter which included that the public health services be improved, that there should be no privatization of these,  and that the budgetary allocation for health be increased to 6% of the GDP. They demanded that they be regularized as health workers and be given adequate payment for their work, an allowance for COVID related work, free medical treatment and  insurance, including the Rs 50 lakh insurance.

Frontline health and sanitation workers in many states also came out in support of these demands. 

DEMANDS

  1. Regualrise ASHA Workers and all NHM workers as permanent workers, pay minimum wages and ensure social security and pension as per recommendations of the 45th and 46th ILC
  2. Safety gear for all frontline workers, especially those in the health sector; PPEs for those who are engaged in containment areas and red/containment zone
  3. Frequent, random and free Covid-19 test of all frontline workers
  4. Rs Fifty lakhs insurance cover to all frontline workers covering all deaths on duty; also coverage of treatment for Covid-19 for the entire family.
  5. Additional incentive of Rs.25,000 per month for all the contract and scheme workers engaged in Covid -19 duty. Payment of all the pending dues of ASHA workers immediately
  6. Compensation of minimum Rupees Five lakhs for all those who got infected while on duty
  7. Provide free and adequate COVID tests and treatment to all non tax paying people.
  8. Ensure adequate facilities in quarantine centres and hospitals.
  9. Free ration /food for all the needy and Rs.7500 per month for all non taxpaying families for six months
  10. Strengthen the public health system and the health infrastructure.
  11. Allocate 6% of GDP for health sector;
  12. Withdraw  proposals for privatization of public health infrastructure and services
  13. Enact legislation for right to universal healthcare
  14. Make NHM a permanent health programme of the government, with universal application and adequate financial allocation. 

We wait for a favourable response from the concerned authorities and will intensify our struggle if this is not forthcoming.

Ranjana Nirula
Convenor

Read 761 times