State President CITU Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Tuesday said the government has neglected the women working as ASHAs, although it had started the National Rural Health Mission with much fanfare.
The government must provide a dignified monthly honorariumto these activists who essentially act as backbone of the health structure inrural areas of the state, he said while addressing a day-long convention ofASHA Workers in Town Hall Kupwara.The convention was presided over by Jabeena,ASHA leader and representatives from various parts of Kashmir region attendedit, he said in a statement.
"The custom of paying poor compensation for extreme hardwork should come to an end to protect the women folk working in differentsectors in Jammu and Kashmir. ASHAs work in rough terrains of rural areastirelessly and selflessly, despite all the difficulties they are confrontedwith," he said.
Tarigami cautionedthe government to take serious note of the brewing discontentment among theseworkers and take necessary action for the immediate fulfilment of theirdemands, failing which, the national health mission may get affected.
ASHA leaders Mubeena, Jabeena, Tahira, Rafiqa,Syeda,Dilshada Malik, Zahida, Misra, Rubeena, Sara, Mehfooza, Shakeela andHaseena exhorted upon ASHAs tostrengthen the organization for broader struggle against the anti-peoplepolicies of the government. They said that the government must acknowledge thecontribution of ASHAs to the NHM and the improvement of the health status ofthe poor, especially mothers and infants.
Others who spoke on the occasion included senior CITUleaders, Ab Gani Bhat and Ab Rashid Najar who demanded social security benefitslike pension, gratuity and maternity benefits to these activists.
The convention adopted resolutions which include providingof minimum wages @ Rs. 18000/- per month, social security benefits, womenempowerment etc.