In a joy for accredited social health activists (Ashas) and Anganwadi workers, the central government has hiked monthly honorarium of 24 lakh such workers, according to reports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made the announcement regarding this during his interaction with Anganwadi, ANMs (auxiliary nurse midwives) and Asha workers over video-conferencing on Tuesday. Most of these workers are females and they primarily attend health and nutrition needs of mostly women and children.
With this announcement of hike, minimum money an ASHA worker makes every month from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. Anganwadis so far drew an honorarium of Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,200. They will be getting Rs 4,500, and those who get Rs 2,200 will get Rs 3,500. The monthly honorarium of Anganwadi helpers will go up from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500. The pay hike, which PM Modi has termed as ‘Diwali gift’, will come into effect from October 1.
Apart from this, all Asha workers will also receive the benefits from various social security schemes and will get Rs 2-lakh free insurance cover under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.
BJP president Amit Shah and RSS affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has welcomed the move. “Congratulate (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi on the historic decision doubling of the honorarium for Asha workers and unprecedented hike in honorarium for anganwadi workers coupled with Rs 2 lakh worth of protection,” Shah tweeted. “This historic decision by Prime Minister will benefit about 27 lakh Anganwadi and 12 lakh Asha workers across the country. Our heartiest congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this,” said Virjesh Upadhyay, General Secretary of BMS, adding that it had been agitating for this demand since November 2014.