First State Conference of Dilli ASHA Kamgar Union

 

Wake up Modi-Kejriwal! Stop exploiting ASHA workers in the name of 'Sewa'!

ASHA workers demand permanent job, fixed salary and social dignity!

 

The first state conference of  Dilli ASHA kamgar Union successfully concluded on 8th August at N.D Tiwari Bhawan, ITO, Delhi. The conference began with paying tribute to all ASHA workers who succumbed to COVID-19, farmers who died in the protest, and the 9-year old Dalit rape victim in Delhi Cantonment area.

ASHAs from different dispensaries across Delhi participated in this conference. ASHA workers from Saadnagar, Palam, Deoli, Mangalpuri, Dabra, Bhati mines, Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri, Mehrauli, Mahipalpur, Fathepuri Beri, Dera, Sangam Vihar, and Gautam Nagar showed up in large numbers. From the last few months under the leadership of DAKU, ASHA workers have been continuously registering their protest against their exploitation both by the central and state governments. During the pandemic, DAKU also went to various dispensaries in Delhi and distributed masks, gloves, sanitizers, etc., as none were provided by the government. DAKU vowed to stand with the ASHA workers in all circumstances and will continue to work towards strengthening our fight against all form of oppression of the ASHAs.

The conference was inaugurated by Punjab Kisan Union leader Com. Jasbir Kaur Natt who has been at the forefront of the historic farmers struggle going on at Delhi’s borders against the anti-farmer acts. She expressed her solidarity with the ASHA workers of Delhi and explained how this fascist government has been relentlessly attacking the Mazdoor-Kisan of this country since it came to power. She also reiterated the importance of unity and motivated ASHA workers to reclaim their rights. The conference was also addressed by AICCTU General Secretary Rajiv Dimri, AICCTU Delhi State President Santosh Rai, and JNUSU ex-president and AICCTU National Executive Member Sucheta De.

The conference culminated with ASHAs narrating their macabre experiences during the pandemic and their grievances against both the Modi and Kejriwal governments. Despite uncertain working conditions, untimely wages (if paid at all), lack of compensation and unavailability of PPE gear, the ASHA workers are still working at the forefront of the fight against corona pandemic. With no safety kits, ASHA workers in Delhi are forced to work under precarious conditions. Instances of violence and discrimination against ASHAs have multiplied manifold during the pandemic. Even basic facilities like restroom, maternity leave etc., are not provided to them. They are often reminded about how they are doing 'seva' or ‘social service’, and are treated more like volunteers rather than ‘workers’ who are entitled to adequate wages for the job they perform. ASHAs decided to unionize and protest for their basic rights and dignity as both the state and central governments have ignored the woes of ASHA workers.

The newly formed committee elected Com. Shweta Raj as the General Secretary of the Dilli ASHA kamgar Union.

The ASHA workers of Delhi also extended their support to the ongoing strike of the ASHA workers of Uttrakhand.

A Charter of Demands was also formulated in the conference which includes -

Grant the status of government employees to ASHA workers and ensure a monthly salary of Rs. 18,000.

Increase COVID honorarium form Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000.

Arrange proper restroom facilities for ASHA workers in all the dispensaries across Delhi.

Limit working time to 8 hours a day.

Guarantee Rs. 1 crore as compensation for each death of ASHAs or their family members due to Corona.

Immediate action against harassment and violence on ASHA workers on duty.

Provide travel allowance to all the ASHAs working on the field.

Ensure paid maternity leave to all ASHA workers.

Provide free healthcare to all the ASHAs and their families

End the system of assigning points to pay ASHA workers.

Form Gender sensitization cells to tackle gender based assault and sexual harassment at workplace.

Stop attack on the right to form union and Fulfill the demands of ASHA workers.

DAKU resolved to carry forward the struggle against the oppression of ASHA workers and the endeavour for rights and justice. π

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