‘We Overwork But Earn Less Than a Daily Wager’: ASHA Workers in UP

‘Need a More Institutionalised Approach’

Epidemiologist and public health expert, Chandrakant Lahariya, told The Quint that during the pandemic, with contact tracing and COVID surveys on their checklist, the work of an ASHA worker has increased manifold, however their problems are not limited to low income.

Lahariya further added that the solution to these problems of ASHA workers lies in an institutionalised approach towards them instead of the current ad hoc approach. “We need to define the role of an ASHA and institutionalise their work with government providing them benefits like an insurance cover and honorarium. At present, ASHAs are hired and paid as per the need of a particular assignment, this approach needs to go.”

Sunita and Dharamvati concur. They want the government to recognise their work and fix their salaries.

“Why can’t we have a fixed salary of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 a month? We are the ones going out on field every day unlike the officials sitting higher up who can afford the luxury of working from home,” they say.

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