People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 29

July 19, 2009



Ashas Demand Wages In Kashmir, Seek More Allocation Under NRHM


 HUNDREDS of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) protested in Srinagar on July 16, 2009 demanding proper wages and more allocation to Jammu and Kashmir under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). They demanded extension of NHRM as a full time programme, regularisation of ASHAs as village level health workers, social security benefits and timely payment of incentives and TA/DA to them.


The state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami addressing the agitated ASHAs at Partap Park said the services rendered by workers should be acknowledged by way of paying genuine honorarium to them. He said that the ASHAs have proved instrumental in providing better medicare to the rural people especially the women folk and their young ones, besides ensuring social mobilisation.


He strongly seconded the demand of ASHAs regarding enhancing their monthly wages. Targami said that ASHA workers have been performing yeoman’s service in creating health related awareness among the people of the state particularly those living in rural and far-flung areas.


Despite the hard efforts put in by these workers for generating awareness about health care and hygiene among rural masses, the lack of medicines and health services in dispensaries and hospitals are undoing all the hard-work done by these activists, he said and added that mere remunerations being paid to them do not suffice their day to day needs.


He demanded minimum wages and necessary health kits for the ASHAs and said that they should be paid fair dues while travelling to and fro in rural areas in connection with their official assignments. He also said that in the context of present inflation, paltry remunerations were not justified

Tarigami appealed to the union Health minister for enhancing allocations under NRHM where-under specific and sufficient grants are earmarked for paying wages to ASHAs.


He urged the state government to take necessary steps for providing genuine wages to the ASHAs in the state so that the goal of women empowerment and social change in the women folk is achieved. However, he appealed to ASHAs for adopting a peaceful way for motivating the government to address their grievances and assured all support to them on behalf of CPI(M) and other trade unions.