Guwahati: At a time when the entire nation is getting vaccinated against the fatal covid disease after the mega covid vaccination drive instituted two days ago, ASHA workers in Assam have called for a boycott of covid vaccines until their demand for salary hike is met.
Around 20,000 ASHA workers affiliated to ‘Sadou Asom Asha Karmi Santha’ ceased to work demanding appointment letters and a minimum incentive of Rs 10,000 per month. At present, the health workers are paid a meagre Rs 3000 per month as their monthly remuneration, which is far less than what their duties demand for.
With just one mask and a sanitizer in hand, ASHA workers tread out looking for covid affected people across districts, putting themselves in higher health risk.
Working year round at the onset of the fatal disease, the ASHA health workers have been fighting a range of remuneration problems even after being exposed to higher risks during the pandemic period.
Working without proper PPE kits to reaching difficult terrains via boats during flood season, has further worsened their situation during the peak of the pandemic period.
A health worker said, “We were under tremendous risk of getting exposed to people returning home. We had no protective gear. But when we sought a hike in remuneration during the last assembly session in December, the state government turned a deaf ear. If we do not get a dignified wage that will protect our future, there is no point getting protected against the vaccine.”