Kamle ASHAs on pen-/tool-down strike

RAGA, 5 Jul: The All Kamle District ASHA Workers’ Welfare Association (AKDAWWA) in a representation to the Kamle deputy commissioner on Monday said that all the accredited social health activists (ASHA) and ASHA facilitators (AF) of the district are going on an indefinite pen-/tool-down strike across the district from 5 July onwards over the issue of pending incentives.

The AKDAWWA had on 21 June submitted an ultimatum of one week to the Kamle DMO, seeking immediate release of all the pending incentives and other financial benefits of the ASHAs and AFs of the district.

“On verbal request through telephonic conversation by DMO, Kamle, we extended one week time period to them to resolve the issue or to reach to a convincing genuine conclusion, but even the extended time period has come to an end. But despite passing of the deadline, none of our genuine demands has been met,” it said.

“The AKDAWWA demands nothing more than timely, full and proper payment of incentives and other financial benefits as granted by the government. We demand nothing more than transparency, corruption-free system in our department. We are not beggars but incentive earners.

We are not attempting to snatch anyone’s property or asset, but we are demanding what we rightfully earned. We demand nothing out of provision but what our government has sanctioned or authorized for us. We demand equal respect for equal work,” it said, adding that threatening to serve show cause notice or to suspend or terminate the ASHAs and AFs from their jobs would serve no purpose “but provoke more to the deprived.”

“It is the ASHAs and the AFs who determine the success or failure (more or less) of the entire medical fraternity. They carry out most of the ground level works, both urban and rural. Most of the activities, especially national programmes under the National Health Mission, are dependent on them. Without them, the entire health community will be paralyzed and all other activities will come to a halt automatically,” the association said.

“If our demands are not met, we will be compelled to go for more rigorous form of democratic movement,” it added.

Reposing faith in the administration, the association said it expects that justice would be done to the ASHAs and the AFs.