ASHAs in Madhya Pradesh on an indefinite strike; 29 arrested, released, but refuse to call off their protest - Shivani Gupta
For nearly a month, frontline health workers in the state are on an indefinite strike demanding a monthly pay hike, status of permanent workers and compensation for dead colleagues. More details here.
Since June 1, thousands of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers across Madhya Pradesh are on an indefinite strike demanding a hike in their monthly honorarium and status of permanent workers. Over 60,000 of these protesting female frontline workers claim that unless their demands are met they will continue to boycott their duties.
What has added fuel to fire is that two days back some of these ASHA workers were arrested by the police. “We were arrested on June 24 between 1-2 am in the night. We were told that we will be released on the condition of signing blank papers. All of this was done so that we withdraw the strike,” Laxmi Kaurav, director of AHSA USHA Sahyogi Sangh, a state level organisation, told Gaon Connection.
According to Kaurav, 29 ASHA workers were arrested in the state capital Bhopal and forced to sign blank papers before their release the next day (June 25) after 8:30 pm. “Unless the government accepts our demands, we will be on an indefinite strike,” added Kaurav who is a resident of Barthara village of Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh.
These ASHA workers have been on strike since the beginning of this month. However, two days back on June 24, a state-level protest was initiated by these women workers. Their protest was joined by over 60,000 women frontline workers in 42 districts of the state. All these thousands of workers sat in protest in front of the offices of 1,250 Chief Medical Health Officers across the state.
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GaonConnection.com, 26 June, 2021, https://en.gaonconnection.com/asha-workers-madhya-pradesh-strike-arrests-salary-compensation-insurance-garib-kalyan-shivraj-singh-chouhan/?fbclid=IwAR2pVWdQSbPYI-BY1GgDqRMW1ucYakWvJAWE_ps21kMYoLGC0x45Qlx8O30