Unpaid ASHA workers threaten to commit suicide

Unpaid ASHA workers threaten to commit suicide

Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2016-05-31 19:22 Bengaluru: Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) who are a great source of link between public and health department have threatened to commit suicide if the government fails to pay their due salary and regularise their services with revision of pay scale.Staging a protest during the BBMP Council meeting here on Tuesday, the health workers said that they would not hesitate to consume poison if the government does not act within 30 days. There are over 800 health workers in Bengaluru alone and their services – to 24 maternity homes, six referral hospitals, 29 health centres, 19 urban family welfare centres and 16 dispensaries – are crucial. Their strike would seriously jeopardize the health services in the city."Despite serving for over 10 years, we draw a paltry sum of Rs 3,584 but since January, we have not been paid. There is no word from the agency that has recruited us nor from the BBMP officials, leave alone public representatives,” Sashikala, president of BBMP Health Link Workers’ Union.Upset over the apathy of agency and BBMP, they have approached health minister UT Khader, but in vain, rued Sujatha another ASHA worker. She threatened to lay siege to health minister’s house, if the minister fails to respond to their demands within a month.Salary issues need to be handled by Palike since they have sought their services, said Jay Kumar, field executive, Poornima Enterprises, one of the agencies providing ASHA workers’ service to Palike. They were recruited under the National Rural Health Mission and onus is on the Central government to regularise their services, he added.