Prime Minister Narendra Modi while interacting with the health workers from across the nation via a live video conference has announced that Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Anganwadi workers will get a hike in the monthly honorarium from October. The announcement which was made on Tuesday will help more than 24 lakh workers, mostly women, who work mainly on the ground to improve the health and nutrition of women and children in the rural areas.
Starting from October, Anganwadi workers who were so far getting Rs. 3,000 will receive will get Rs 4,000. Similarly, other workers receiving Rs 2,200 would get Rs 3,500. The honorarium for Anganwadi helpers will be increased from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,250, said the Prime Minister. He said the revised incentive will come into effect from October and it will reflect in their salaries from November onwards, which would be a Diwali gift for them.
Besides an increase in the honorarium and other routine incentives given by the government, ASHA workers and their helpers will also be covered under free insurance scheme of “Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana” and “Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana”.
Reportedly, an ASHA worker who used to earn Rs 1,000 as the basic amount for routine work like updating registers, etc, even if she does not meet any patient in a given month, will now get Rs 2,000. Addition to this, the ASHA workers will receive incentives for conducting vaccinations, prenatal checks, institutional deliveries, among other functions
Addition to the honorarium, Anganwadi workers and helpers who will be using techniques such as Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) will get additional incentives ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 500 which would be based on performance.
Prime Miniter Modi while interacting said that his government has focussed on aspects relating to nutrition and quality healthcare. He spoke regarding the vaccination drive particularly targetting women and children. The interaction was part of Rashtriya Poshan Maah, which aims to reach every household in the country with the message of the importance of optimum nutrition. He further appreciated ASHA workers for using innovative means and technology, to improve the delivery of health and nutrition services and achieve the goal of the ‘POSHAN Abhiyan’ (nutrition mission).
ASHA and Anganwadi workers are part of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme administered by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry. The Centre and States together share the annual expenditure occurred on the payment to the Anganwadi workers.