Accredited Social Health Activists under the banner of All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) staged a protest in Kalaburagi on Monday demanding a minimum monthly wage of ₹ 12,000 and other benefits. The activists said that amid the pandemic, they were risking their lives to combat COVID-19 as they are regularly conducting survey to identify high-risk individuals and those with co-morbidities. They demanded protective gears, including face shields, N95 masks, hand sanitisers and gloves, for all workers as they were visiting containment areas without the optimum protection needed.
V.G.Desai, district president of the Karnataka Rajya SAmyukta Asha Karyakarteyara Sangha and its organiser Shivalingamma Haralayya in a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Health and Family Welfare Minister B Sriramulu stated that they get Rs 4000 fixed payment from the State government and the Central government gives incentive-based pay which depends on 30 plus components. Instead of getting Rs 5000 from the Central government, the ASHA worker gets only Rs 1500 to Rs 2000. “We get anywhere around Rs 6000 to Rs 9000 a month, so we demand the government to hike the salary to a fixed amount of Rs 12000”, they added.
Though the government announced Rs 3000 as a COVID-19 incentive for the ASHA workers, they have not received their incentive.
The sangha would stage a state-level protest at Bengaluru on September 23 to press the government to fulfill their demands.