Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the incentive amount given to ASHA workers.
He said that keeping in mind the important role played by ASHAs in accessing health services at the community level, it is necessary to increase their incentive so that their morale remains high and they perform health services with greater efficiency and quality.
The chief minister said in a letter to PM Modi that the ASHA workers were selected under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the ground level to make the benefits of various health activities accessible to every person.
Mr Gehlot said that the state government is sensitive to the afflictions of these health workers and stands with them.
In order to provide financial support to these health workers, the state government is also giving an additional honorarium of Rs 2,700 per month from the Integrated Child Development Services Department, he said.
He wrote to the prime minister that in the last 15 years, since the inception of the mission, ASHA workers have played an important role in strengthening the reach of health services in rural areas and in the implementation of the mission.
In 2020, in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, ASHA workers carried out important work like door-to-door surveys, he said.
The chief minister informed that there has been no increase in the amount of incentives payable by Government of India to ASHA workers for various health-related activities, except participation in special programs.
An ASHA worker is paid an average of Rs 3,000 per month, which can be less or more depending on the performance.
Mr Gehlot said that 52,248 ASHA workers are currently working against 55,816 sanctioned posts in the state.
He requested the prime minister to keep in mind the important role of ASHAs in accessing health services at the community level and said they should be given an appropriate increase in the amount of incentives from the central government.