It is celebration time for Asha and Anganwadi health workers for whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a hike in their monthly incentives.
Once the increment comes into effect in October, all those who were paid an honorarium of Rs 3000, will now earn Rs 4500 ; and those who used to receive Rs 2200 will now receive Rs 3500/-
The Anganwadi helpers will get Rs 2500 as compared to the earlier Rs 1500.
The accredited social health activists (Asha) will be able to avail various social security schemes and also enjoy free insurance cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.
No premium will be charged from the health workers, who will be eligible for a sum of Rs 4 lakh in case of any unfortunate incident.
According to Modi, the healthworkers will get their revised salaries with effect from November, as a Diwali gift from the Government.
The hike will benefit 10 crore people, including children below six years as well as expectant women and lactating mothers. India has approx. 14 lakh child care centres or Anganwadis, served by 12,83,707 Anganwadi workers and 10,50,564 helpers. These were established under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme.
The country also has 10,23,136 accredited social health activists (Asha). Together they help strengthen the foundation of the country, ensure the health and wellbeing of infants, and make sure that nutritional standards and hygiene levels are maintained.
Those Anganwadi workers and helpers who work on common application software (ICDS-CAS) will be eligible for additional incentives of Rs 250 to Rs 500 based on their performance.
The beneficiaries for the Government’s flagship health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, which is to be launched from Jharkhand on September 23, have also been identified. The first beneficiary will be Karishma, a newborn in the Karnal district of Haryana.