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The Unions and federations of scheme workers (anganwadi, ASHA, MDM, NHM, Samagra Sikksha etc) affiliated to the Central Trade Unions (INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU,           AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF,   UTUC) will go on two days strike on 7-8 August 2020.

The scheme workers many of them are frontline workers in the fight against Covid- 19 are forced to take this step after four months of the outbreak of the pandemic and the lock down because none of the minimum requirements for them – safety, insurance and risk allowance- are provided by the government. Many of the workers have died due to Corona during this period. Even their monthly wages are not paid for months together. 

Strikes and struggles are going on in different parts of the country. In Bihar, the ASHA workers are on strike from 6 August 2020. In some states and areas where the Covid-19 situation is very bad, the scheme workers will work wearing black badges.

They will join the satyagraha/jailbharo called by the central trade unions on 9 August 2020, Quit India Day with the slogan of “Save India”(keeping physical distance and all norms by WHO)

The demands of scheme workers

  1. Withdraw the proposals for privatization of basic services including health (including hospitals), nutrition (including ICDS and MDMS) and education Stop Privatisation of PSEs and Services.
  2. Make the Centrally Sponsored Schemes like ICDS, NHM and MDMS permanent with adequate budget allocation
  3. Implement the recommendations of 45th and 46th ILC for regularization of scheme workers as workers; Pay Minimum wages Rs.21000 per month and pension Rs.10000 per month; Provide ESI and EPF to all scheme workers
  4. Enact legislation for right to universal healthcare as in case of right to food and right to education
  5. No Pro employer change in Labour Laws in the name of codification; No increase in working hours and freezing of Labour laws in the name of Covid Crisis. Include scheme workers in the category of workers
  6. Free ration /food for all the needy and Rs.7500 per month for all non taxpaying families for six months ; Ensure Jobs and income for all
  7. Safety gear for all frontline workers, especially the ASHA workers, anganwadi workers and those in the health sector; PPEs for those who are engaged in containment areas and red zone ; Frequent, random and free Covid-19 test of all frontline workers; Do not engage those who are above 60yrs and those who have health problems in Covid-19 Duty.
  8. Rs 50 lakhs insurance cover to all frontline workers covering all deaths on duty and Pension/jobs for the dependants of the workers and also coverage of treatment for Covid-19 for the entire family.
  9. Additional Covid Risk Allowance of Rs.10,000 per month for all the contract and scheme workers engaged in Covid -19 duty, especially ASHA and anganwadi workers and workers in NHM. Payment of all the pending dues of wages and allowances etc., of all the Scheme workers immediately
  10. Compensation of minimum Rupees Ten lakhs for all those who got infected while on duty
  11. The existing insurance schemes  (a) Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana, (b) Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and (c) Anganwadi Karyakarti Bima Yojana must be implemented properly with universal coverage applicable to all scheme workers
  12. Mid Day Meal Workers must be paid Rs.10000 per month for the period when the schools are closed including the summer holidays; No contractorisation or centralised kitchen
  13. Increase the budget allocation for CSSs. Provide adequate additional ration with good quality for all the beneficiaries of ICDS and MDMS immediately; include return migrants in these schemes
  14. Provide free and adequate COVID tests and treatment to all non tax-paying people; Ensure adequate facilities in quarantine centres and hospitals. Strengthen the public health system and the health infrastructure; Allocate 6% of GDP for health sector
  15. For Finance mobilisation, projects such as "Central Vista Project" be scrapped. Tax the super rich and recover the dues from willful defaulters for resources

INTUC              AITUC             HMS               CITU         AIUTUC

TUCC             SEWA              AICCTU          LPF         UTUC

Issued by
A R Sindhu, Secretary, CITU
For Joint Platform of Scheme Workers’ Federations and Unions


Thursday, 06 August 2020 14:23

Com. Shyamal Chakraborty Amar Rahe

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions is deeply grieved at the demise of Comrade Shyamal Chakraborty, senior and veteran leader of the country’s trade union movement and a leading personality of CITU. Com Chakraborty was admitted in nursing home at Kolkata for lung ailment a few days back. He was also affected by Covid. He breathed his last today on 6th August 2020 around 1-45 pm. He was 77.

Com Shyamal Chakraborty joined the student movement and the communist movement in his early youth during mid fifties. He had been one of the frontline organizers of the then All India Student Federation (AISF) and took active part in the surging peoples’ struggles in West Bengal during that period prolonging to next decade at the initiative of the Left forces braving police atrocities and imprisonment at different spells. Afterwards he was one of the founder leaders of SFI and played important role in organizing SFI in other states as well besides leading the movement in West Bengal.  Subsequently he joined the trade union movement and played front line role in organizing the working class movement in west Bengal and also in national sphere. He had been actively associated in leading the movement in number of strategic sector like electricity, road transport, port & dock etc and had been in the national level leadership of the respective all India federations. He led the West Bengal CITU as the president of the state CITU for around two decades. Com Shyamal Chakraborty was elected in the national secretariat of CITU from its 7th Conference in 1991 and had been in that position as Vice President  till the 15th Conference of CITU and got voluntarily relieved from that position in the 16th Conference of CITU held in 2020, despite remaining quite active in trade union work. Com Chakraborty’s initiative and contribution in building up joint movement of all trade unions and mass organizations on peoples’ burning livelihood and rights related issues in the state will be ever remembered.      

Com Shyamal Chakraorty played important role in parliamentary front as well. He was elected MLA four times and discharged the responsibility as Minister of Transport in the Left Front Govt in the state for two terms. He also left the imprint of his powerful interventions championing the cause of the people and working class as a member of Rajya Sabha during 2008—2014. He was also most popular orator and speaker and could attract the audience quite convincingly.  

Com Shyamal Chakraborty was also a prolific writer. His creativity in this field was not only limited to trade union literature but also in the stream of history, social science and various other political issues. He had authored  number of books on different subjects.      

At com Shyamal Chakraborty’s demise, the trade union movement has lost a veteran leader, the democratic movement also lost one of the stalwarts. The loss is irreparable.

CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences at the demise of one of its senior leaders, com Shyamal Chakraborty, to his bereaved daughter Ushasi and other family members and other comrades. CITU dips its flag in respectful homage to the departed leader. Comrade Shyamal Chakraborty Amar Rahe. 

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:08

9th August - “SAVE INDIA DAY"

National Platform of Central Trade Unions along with Sectoral federations and Associations calls upon working class to observe 9th August as “SAVE INDIA DAY” CTUs & other PSUs to observe Solidarity Actions on 18th August on Coal Strike Day

The joint Platform of Central Trade Unions met on 8th July and then again on 18th July along with sectoral federations & associations to plan next course of agitations. The meeting took note that the working class under the banner of Central Trade Unions and the Sectoral Federations and Associations observed Nationwide Protest Day on 3rd July 2020, as a massive success throughout the country, in all workplaces and centres as a united struggle of Non-Cooperation and Defiance to anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Govt. The action programmes were organised in almost one lakh places in the states in the work places, union offices, on roads & streets including processions, cycle and motorbike rallies, public meetings.

The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, independent sectoral Federations and Associations congratulated the coal workers who successfully held strike for three days, on 2nd-3rd-4th July 2020 bringing the coal mines and establishments under Coal India and SCCL to grinding halt with no production and no dispatch of coal. Strike was called to oppose and resist the Government decision to completely privatise the coal sector through unregulated commercial mining of coal and trading by private sector including foreign entities much to the detriment of national interests and self-reliance. The coal unions have once again decided to go on strike on 18th August 2020- the last day of bidding for allotment of coal blocks for private commercial mining.

The meeting noted that with the opening up of some industrial units, all workers are not being taken back, only a small percentage is finding their place back in jobs and that also on reduced wages and refusal to pay lockdown period salary. Such denial of employment, and pressing for wage-reduction have to be unitedly combated. The recent decision of Air India authorities to give notice to 20000 employees to go on leave without pay for six months, including the provision of compulsory (forced) leave without pay, which may get extended to 5 years. This is grossly violative of the existing statutes.   

The jobless are more than 14 crore and if we add the daily wagers/contract/casual, it is more than 24 crores who are out of livelihood at present. The MSMEs themselves are reporting that 30% to 35% units may not be in position to start their activities. The unemployment rate is high. ILO has said in its report that more than 40 crore people would be pushed into deeper poverty. That the malnutrition would increase, hunger deaths would become a daily reality, and there is real threat of depression resulting in suicides amongst workers say the eminent scientists & medical experts. All these issues are enraging workers.

 The meeting once again reiterated the stand of CTUs that the Government not only failed in taking necessary steps to contain the pandemic in time having wasted four precious months, imposed unplanned lockdown with short notice bringing in severe miseries to the people specially the migrant labour, failed in taking essential steps for upgrading health system and providing the safety equipments to front line warriors, it not only failed to recognise the immense services provided by employees of Railways, Defence, Banks, Insurance, Telecom, Postal and other sector providing essential services during lockdown period, but did not address the problems they faced,  it faultered in dealing  with the problem of COVID-19 as law & order issue instead of treating it as medical emergency for the human beings and society. It has caused immense miseries to millions of workers, farmers and other vulnerable sections of the society, whereas, Government stood only by the Corporates & big businesses.

The CTUs reiterated their opposition to disinvestment and wholesale privatisation of Public Sector Enterprises, entry of FDI in core sectors up to the tune of 100 per cent - Indian railways, Defence, Port and Dock, Coal, Air India, Banks, Insurance including of Privatisation of Space Science & Atomic Energy etc., Public sector banks, insurance and other financial sectors are also being targeted for large-scale privatisation. Steps in favour of Corporates of Indian & Foreign brands to usurp natural resources and business of the country while mouthing the slogan of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat are being pushed through shamelessly. The decision of DA freeze of 48 lakh Central Government Employees and DR freeze of 68 lakh pensioners, which is also having impact on the state government employees, is not withdrawn despite vehement opposition from Government employees and CTUs. Neither the demand of cash transfer of Rs.7500/- to all non-income tax paying persons accepted. The govt. having failed in getting its own orders in regard to payment of lockdown period wages, no retrenchments and no cut in wages shamelessly withdrew its own order in the Supreme Court of India when some Employers went to court against these orders.

The Government continues with its arrogant attitude of going ahead with privatisation and sale of PSUs, and dangerously liberalizing foreign entry in vital sectors of the economy like defence production from 49 to 74% along with corporatization of 41 ordnance factories for privatization; it is also going ahead with its project of privatizing Indian Railways in phases, the latest being its destructive decision of privatizing 151 train services in highly remunerative routes to facilitate private players  to make huge profit using infrastructure and manpower of Indian Railways.  The policy of surrendering of sanctioned posts and ban of creation of new jobs in various government departments continues in detriment to the young aspirants for jobs. On the top of it the continuous price-rise in petrol & diesel made effective on 22 occasions in the last two months is another big blow to the people.

A Government which has no respect and concern, towards the rights and basic survival-entitlements of workers and the people, does not deserve any co-operation. We the workers/employees and trade unions need to do everything possible to be in solidarity with each other, unitedly face the disease taking all precautions necessary, stand with each other to defend our rights of unionization, collective bargaining, decent working condition, wages & future securities etc. This Govt has demonstrated cruel insensitivity of the basic human needs of the workers and people. This cannot be endorsed and cooperated with.

Hence the united platform of Central Trade Unions and Federations/Associations called upon to step up the struggles against the anti-people, anti-worker policies of the Govt both on sectoral and national level with continuity.  It was decided that;

  1. On 9th August –the “Quit India Day” should be observed as “Save India Day” through countrywide stayagraha/jail bharo-or any other form of militant agitations in all workplaces/ industrial centres/district headquarters and rural areas etc.
  2. On the day of coal workers strike on 18th August 2020, militant solidarity actions in all workplaces and the PSUs in particular; possibility of strike action should be explored wherever is possible.
  3. The defence sector unions/federations have been jointly planning to give notice for strike on the basis of the strike ballot approved by more than 99 per cent workers. They may go for strike action sometimes in mid September 2020. The united platform of CTUs and federations conceived the idea of countrywide general strike against the policies of the Govt. synchronising with the defence sector strike and called upon all concerned to start preparation in that direction.
  4.  It is noted that the Scheme workers unions/federations (Anganwadi, ASHA, Mid Day Meal etc) have jointly decided to go in for two days strike on 7th and 8th August 2020 which will converge with countrywide satyagraha/jail bharo/agitation on 9th August 2020. The joint meeting of CTUs and federations called upon all concerned to express solidarity with the Scheme workers strike action. 
  5. It has also been decided to continue countrywide campaign against the Govt. move on Railway privatization in coordination with the unions/federations with the Railway Sector and also independently. Railway Federations reported that they are also planning and preparing for their response/actions at appropriate time.
  6. It was agreed that the petition to President of India as a campaign which is circulated among CTUs will be finalized after receiving suggestions and then starting it as campaign. Another suggestion was taken on board to initiate another petition to focus on specially unorganised sector workers’ problems. It was also decided that the Platform of CTUs will once again meet on 27th July for detailed discussion on preparations of 9th August program to make it effective and visible.

We call upon all the state chapters of CTUs to conduct their meetings inviting the sectoral federations and associations to plan about the next phase of agitation, and take the exercise to districts and enterprise/industry level.

INTUC              AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                  AIUTUC
TUCC                SEWA                     AICCTU               LPF                     UTUC

And Sectoral Federations and Associations

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Congratulates the Working Class and the People for the tremendous response to its call for a nationwide protest on 16-17 July 2020 against the desperate and disastrous move of the Govt for Privatisation of Indian Railways. Protest demonstrations were held from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, outside almost all major railway stations in most of the states including some of the regional headquarters and RAIL BHAWAN at New Delhi against the move by the Modi government for privatisation of 109 rail routes, ban on recruitments, privatisation of Railway Stations, railway production units through corporatisation route etc in the shield of lock down. The Govt has already allowed 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric works and dedicated freight lines.

Massive protest actions were held in almost all major railway stations keeping the physical distancing and other WHO norms. Apart from CITU leaders and activists, activists of other organisations of peasantry and youth, common people as well as large number of railway employees joined the demonstrations in many places, declaring that Railway privatisation is not just the concern of railway employees only. The massive participation in spite of the short notice, shows the possibility of a wider movement under the leadership of the working class in the coming days in defence of Indian Railways. It is encouraging to see a large number of women workers and workers cutting across different sectors from IT to street vendors joined the protest to save the national asset.

CITU calls upon the working class of India to join enmasse in the united struggle of defiance, non-cooperation and resistance called upon by the central trade unions against the  mass-scale privatisation, labour law changes/suspension and other attacks on the working people including the peasantry by the Govt, dubiously taking advantage of the lockdown-restrictions and  also pressing for the basic demands of the people for lives and livelihood.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union and All India Kisan Sabha strongly condemns the sinister move by the BJP Government to tamper with the school syllabus under the pretext of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown. Pursuing the Sangh Parivar line of undermining the Indian Constitution, Secularism, Federalism and democratic rights, the HRD Ministry through CBSE and NCERT are trying to bring in drastic changes. CBSE has completely deleted sections on Citizenship, Nationalism, Secularism, and Federalism as well as on topics like democratic rights, people’s struggles, new social movements, Planning Commission, Five Year Plans, food security, diversity, gender, religion and caste etc. Many other relevant topics have also been set aside. The CBSE clarification that it is a one-time move to reduce the burden of students is untenable given that the topics set aside are part of the basic features of the Constitution. There have been similar moves to communalise education many times and it is part of a clear design.

The BJP government claims that it has decided to cut short the syllabus to compensate for the academic days lost due to the lockdown. The HRD Minister has claimed it is as part of rationalization of syllabus by up to 30 percent while retaining the “core” concepts. It is only a continuation of their policy of distorting history and communalization of education. It is indicative of the political agenda of the BJP and Sangh Parivar and the fact that basic features of the Indian Constitution and democracy are no longer seen as relevant “core” concepts by them.

CITU, AIAWU and AIKS demand the immediate scrapping of the decision and to restore the actual core concepts in the NCERT text books. We extend solidarity with the students’ community and teachers as well as their organisations who have come out against this move.

Tapan Sen                                  B.Venkat                               Hannan Mollah
General Secretary, CITU              General Secretary, AIAWU       General Secretary, AIKS

Monday, 06 July 2020 15:38

Red Salute to Com.A.K.Lal

CITU Secretariat is deeply grieved at the sudden demise of Com.A.K.Lal, a prominent CITU leader of the Chhattisgarh state, today on 6th July 2020, at around 2.30.P.M after prolonged ailment. He was 67.

Com.A.K.Lal was actively associated with the trade union movement since mid 1970’s and played important role in developing CITU movement in both united Madhya Pradesh and subsequently in Chhattisgarh. He had been the senior state committee member of CITU in united Madhya Pradesh; subsequently after formation of Chhattisgarh Com.A.K.Lal played important role in consolidating the CITU work and the CITU state committee in Chhattisgarh state in various capacities like Vice-President, Dy.General Secretary, President and General Secretary of Chhattisgarh state CITU. From the last conference of CITU he got himself relieved of the responsibilities of state General Secretary owing to health reasons.

Com.A.K.Lal joined the trade union movement in his early youth as an employee of Life Insurance Corporation and played important role in the insurance employees’ movement he was the founder of the Raipur Division Insurance Employees’ Association and the Central Zone Insurance Employees’ Association.

He had been Working Committee Member / General Council Member of CITU for decades till the 16th conference of CITU. The demise of Com.A.K.Lal is a big loss to the trade union movement. CITU secretariat deeply mourns the demise of Com.A.K.Lal and remembers his great contribution in trade union movement and conveys heartfelt condolence to his comrades and bereaved members of his family.

Red Salute to Com.A.K.Lal.  

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates 5.3 lakh coal workers for their total strike action in all the collieries and establishments of the country on the 2nd July 2020—on the first day of the three days strike call on 2-4 July 2020, given by the joint platform of all the unions and federations of the coal workers in the country.

Three days Strike call was given to combat the destructive move of the Govt at the centre to privatise the country’s coal industry and promote commercial mining and trading of coal by private sector including foreign entities, it being disastrous for the country’s energy security and productive operation of the country’s industrial economy as a whole. The all in united strike-struggle by the workers is not for their own demands but for defending the vital interest of the national economy, its coal resources and the public sector coal industry. And in this strike action, both the regular workers and also contract workers of the industry have participated enmasse.

In all the subsidiary companies under Coal India Ltd viz., Eastern Coalfields Ltd(ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), North Eastern Coalfields Ltd (NECL) and CMPDIL and also in Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) strike was near total. In ECL, strike witnessed participation of above 90 per cent workers owing to opposition of state govt sponsored TMC affiliated hoodlums with the support of local police. Many striking workers, leaders and activities were manhandled and arrested. Yet the strike cannot be broken owing to determination of the workers enmasse. In the other companies and establishments  throughout the country, there was hundred per cent strike.

Coal workers massive strike is the first ever countrywide sectoral strike action during the lockdown period determined to defy and resist the dubious move of the Govt to push through its  wholesale privatization project of putting the national assets and PSUs on the auction in favour of handful of private corporate, both foreign and domestic. And this has, no doubt shown the way to the trade union movement as a whole and particularly in those sectors where privatization is being attempted by the Modi Govt on how to combat and resist such destructive exercise, in the interest of the workers, people and the nation.

Strike by coal workers will continue on 3rd and 4th July as well and the joint platform of federations and unions would be planning their further action to defeat this destructive game-plan of privatization and they can definitely do so.

CITU again congratulates the coal workers and their joint platform of unions and federations for the successful strike action to continue for two more days.     

Issued by
(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

CITU strongly denounces the invitation of Request For Qualification (RFQ) extended to the private corporates, Indian and foreign, for operating passenger train services over 109 pairs of stations. It condemns this anti national move of the Modi government to put Indian Railways, the pride of India and its precious wealth, on sale. It is appalling that the government chose the lockdown period to fast track this anti national policy.

These 109 pairs of high speed trains have been formed into 12 clusters to run across the Indian Railway network, by the drivers and guards of Indian Railways. The other employees will be of the private operators. Private operators will be responsible for procuring, operating and maintaining the trains and safety of the passengers.

Already the BJP government has permitted 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric workers and dedicated freight lines. In the name of redevelopment of railway stations it has started handing over the railway stations along with the huge amounts of real estate to the private corporates. The motive of the private players will be maximising profits, not providing cheap mode of transport to the people. Rather mass of the people availing railway transport will be subjected to heavier burden of unaffordable railway fares.

The government claims of Rs 30000 crore investment and employment generation has no meaning as the drainage due to loss of revenue to the Indian Railways in these revenue generating routes and high speed trains will more than neutralise the said hypothetical figure. The employment lost due to privatisation of our production units, the Jewels of Indian Railways, in the railway workshops, in maintenance units etc will be many times more than the employment created by the private players. Most of the jobs that will be created will be precarious jobs, not permanent jobs with decent wages and social security.

While condemning this fast tracking privatisation of Indian Railways, taking advantage of the lockdown, CITU calls upon the major railway employees’ unions to take the initiative to build strong struggle of resistance and defiance to this anti people and anti national move of the BJP government.

The Coal Workers have already shown the way of such defiance and resistance to move for privatisation of the coal sector through the massive and total three days’ strike on 2-4 July 2020. The defence employees too have made their readiness to resist and defy privatisation of the defence sector, 99.9% expressing their support to go on strike in their strike ballot.  

CITU calls upon the entire trade union movement and the working class and people at large to join together to stiffly resist the move of privatising and selling off Indian Railways to benefit the profit hungry corporates, domestic and foreign.

(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary


Thousands of Midday Meal workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in our country, today came out to protest against their poor conditions of work and to demand wages during lock down period, better remuneration etc, at the call of the Midday Meal Workers Federation of India (CITU). In most of the states, including Karnataka, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, AP, Kerala, Manipur, Chhattisgarh and UP they protested and submitted memoranda to the local authorities, which were also forwarded to the Health and Education Ministers at state and central level.

The government of India is paying a pittance of RS.1000 per month that too only for ten months to around 27 lakh of these workers who extend service in this scheme which is crucial for the country’s future. They are engaged for distribution of dry ration to the school going children. In the present scenario this work is very important for the children who are the future of our country. In so many states, mid-day-meal workers are put on duty in the shelter homes and also in isolation centers. They are neither paid for this job nor provided any safety kits and protective gears which are very essential. Many have been infected and some have died. They are not covered under the insurance scheme.


  1. During the Corona Pandemic period the mid-day-meal workers should be paid Rs. 7500 per month.
  2. All the mid-day-meal workers’ family must be provided with 10kg food grains and all essentials per person.
  3. The mdm workers working in shelter homes or isolation centres should paid Rs. 600 per day.
  4. Remuneration should be paid regularly for 12 months in a year.
  5. Pending regularisation, minimum wages Rs. 24000per month should be paid to MDM workers.
  6. The mid-day-meal workers should be regularised as workers and they should paid minimum wage and pension at the time of retirement as per the recommendation of 45th ILC.
  7. All children including the children of the returned migrants to be given ration in enhanced quantity.
  8. MNREGA workers should be provide lunch at the work place. Mid-day-meal workers should also be given work under MNREGA. The workers can prepare lunch at the site and they should be paid for this.

Issued by CITU Centre

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. 


  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

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