The Andhra Pradesh government has announced a hike in the salaries of the ASHA workers in the medical and health department by more than 300 per cent. Their salaries have been increased from Rs 3000 to Rs 10,000.
An Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) is a trained female health activist. These women activists are the first port of call for any health related demands of the rural population, especially women and children, who find it difficult to access health services.
This has happened within a week of the new chief minister, Jaganmohan Reddy assuming office as the second chief minister of the state post the partition between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
While the ASHA workers in Kerala and Telangana were paid between Rs 7,000 to Rs 6,500, in Andhra Pradesh, the salary was less than half in AP.
There have been a lot of protests and agitation by ASHA workers across Andhra Pradesh for low salaries and poor working conditions.
To pacify the agitated workers, last year the central government doubled the routine incentives for ASHA workers from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000, which benefited 10,22,265 ASHA Workers.
In October last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved an increase in the visit charges for ASHA facilitators (Rs 250 to Rs 300) for 2018-19 to 2019-20 which benefited around 40,000 workers.
Apart from that 10,63,670 ASHA Workers and facilitators were covered under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.