NDTV Ground Report:

84 thousand Asha workers of Madhya Pradesh are unhappy and angry with the non-promising and indifference of the Madhya Pradesh government.

Before the Assembly Elections 2024, a promise was made to these ASHA workers, they were told that they would be given increased honorarium.

When former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan was in power, the promise made by him was approved by the cabinet, money was also given but only for two months, leave alone the increased honorarium after that. The incentive amount received also started getting cut.

Watch this ground report of NDTV.

First listen to what the then CM Shivraj Singh had said?

Now Asha, Usha workers and Asha supervisors will be given one lakh rupees after retirement and... pic.twitter.com/bpI1dVevHZ

— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) July 29, 2023

While addressing the conference of Asha, Usha workers and Asha supervisors at Lal Parade Ground in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, the then CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan had announced that "Asha and Usha workers have become synonymous with the health department."

MP News: Promises made in the conference of Asha, Usha workers and Asha supervisors

MP News: Promises made in the conference of Asha, Usha workers and Asha supervisors

MP News: Promises made in the conference of Asha, Usha workers and Asha supervisors

Asha workers, who work as front line workers of the Health Department in rural areas, are considered the backbone of the department.

Even during the Corona period, he has provided health facilities to every person by risking his life.

Along with the delivery of pregnant women, vaccination of newborn babies is also done from time to time.

In return for all this work, they are given only Rs 2,000 as honorarium every month.

Along with this, a small incentive amount is given for delivery, vaccination and other work.

In July 2023, the then CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan had promised that his honorarium would be increased by Rs 4000 to Rs 6000.

Although the promise was fulfilled but only for two months.

After that, their honorarium started being cut from the month of October, which is continuing.

Due to which they are facing not only financial but also mental and family problems.

Many Asha workers and supervisors are the sole parents of their families, hence education and upbringing of their children has become a challenge for them. 

State Organization Minister of Asha Workers Union Kausar Jahan

When officials are asked, they are told that there is no budget: Kausar Jahan

Kausar Jahan, State Organization Minister of Asha Workers Union, is also an Asha worker of village Ghansipura of Bhopal.

Has been working as an Asha worker since 2006.

She is telling that she has to do the entire work of the health department from birth till death.

Birth registration, death registration, marriage registration etc.

One has to cooperate in many national eradication programs including vaccination of children, screening of pregnant women, TB, malaria and leprosy.

DIG Bangla of Bhopal had brought a woman to the government hospital for delivery.

She is telling that she used to get an honorarium of Rs 2000.

The then CM Shivraj had increased it to Rs 6000 in July.

But have met only twice since July.

Whenever we ask the officials of the department, they are told that there is no budget.

Whereas we are being made to work continuously.

Kausar further says that half the payment has been received for October, November and December.

Nothing has been found yet for January.

Every month it is written on the portal that you have been given so much incentive amount, so much amount has been deposited in your account but it is not credited to your account.

Only half the money comes.

My son is in 11th class, now I have deposited two installments of his fees.

His exam is from tomorrow and the school is demanding full fees.

My payment is not coming so I am not able to pay the fees.

She further says that right now most of the problems we are facing are in working online.

Vaccination survey is also done by us, its online entry is also being done by us only.

Neither are we given data nor do we have a proper phone.

We got Ayushman card verified, now we are being asked to distribute the card.

Apart from our own department, we also have to work for other departments and are getting zero money in return.

Wherever we go with our complaint, they say that there is no budget.

Maternal mortality and infant mortality rates have decreased because of Asha workers.

We are working day and night for these.

But the money is not available.

ASHA worker Mithilesh Gaur

She is battling cancer, there is no shortage of work, but she is not getting full money.

Mithilesh Gaur, Asha worker of village Arvaliya Sani, is a cancer patient.

She says all the work is taken.

Along with our own department, we also have to work with the Panchayat department.

The message comes regarding the full honorarium but the money is being deducted, due to which there is difficulty in getting the treatment.

She says that I am continuously working as an Asha worker, but my treatment costs a lot of money and I am not getting the full amount.

I am getting a very small honorarium.

The doctor had called me for treatment but could not go due to lack of money.

We are doing the entire work of the Health Department. Meanwhile, if any work of the Panchayat Department also comes up, then we have to do that too.

An increased honorarium was promised in July but only one month's honorarium came in September.

Now the 2000 that we already have is coming and another 1-2 thousand are for delivery or vaccination.

Sometimes a message comes about getting honorarium of Rs 8000, sometimes Rs 10000 or sometimes Rs 12000, but the honorarium is deducted.

I am not able to survive with the amount of honorarium I am getting and it is becoming difficult to run the household.

ASHA worker Rukmani Nath

All work is being done but money is not being received on time: Rukmani Nath

Rukmani Nath, ASHA worker of village Arvaliya, says that she is getting all the work done but is not getting the money.

If you miss some work then it is said that it is not your cup of tea so leave the work.

Rukmani Nath tells that all the work is being done but the money is not being received on time.

Vaccination surveys have to be done, vaccinations have to be administered, family planning surveys have to be done.

Getting all the work done.

But the full amount is not coming.

Children are facing a lot of problems due to deduction of honorarium and their education is going on.

Unable to get household work done.

Whenever senior officials are asked, they are told that they will give it when the budget comes.

We expect from the government that the payment of Rs. 6000 which they had said will be given.

Opposition got a chance before the Lok Sabha elections

The opposition has found another big issue to corner the sitting government before the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress MLA and doctor by profession Vikrant Bhuria says in this matter that the government is discriminating against Asha workers.

He was promised increase in honorarium but was given only for two months and then stopped.

Now their incentive amount is also being cut.

When a woman is about to give birth, she remembers the ASHA worker; when she has to get vaccinated, she remembers the ASHA worker.

If nutrition and food were to be distributed, ASHA workers would have been remembered.

But when it comes to their rights, why does the government forget their rights?

The government should take cognizance of this and give them increased honorarium as soon as possible.

The minister doesn't know anything!

When State Health Minister Rajendra Shukla was questioned about this matter, he appeared unaware of this matter and with surprise pointed to the OSD standing behind him and said, why is he saying this?

Has the honorarium of Asha workers started being cut?

Told the reporter to explain to them (i.e. OSD) first.

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