Corpus fund for welfare of ASHA workers soon

Bhubaneshwar: The Odisha government today decided to create a corpus for welfare of the thousands of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) working across the state.

The family of an ASHA worker would be given an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh in case of death on duty, NHRM director Salini Pandit said adding, provision of allowance would also be made for the permanent disability of workers.

There are about 45,000 ASHAs who form the backbone of healthcare service in around 51,000 villages in the state, she said.

“The next of kin of an ASHA worker will get Rs one lakh in case she dies while performing her duty. The affected family can make a claim with the block medical officer with necessary documents to substantiate the death,” Pandit said.

In case of disability due to mishaps while working, ASHAs would get Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 compensation, Pandit said adding, for disability up to 40 per cent to 80 per cent, they would get Rs 25,000.

For disability of more than 80 per cent, an ASHA worker would get Rs 50,000. The money would come from the central sponsored ASHA Corpus Fund of the NHM.

Pandit, in recent letters to all chief district medical officers, directed to take necessary steps to ensure the compensation.

There are a total of 43,700 ASHAs in rural areas and around 1,100 ASHAs in urban slums. Many of them work in very remote vulnerable areas and Left Wing Extremism affected districts.

An ASHA worker gets a package of Rs 600 to ensure four ante-natal check-ups and for facilitating institutional delivery in rural areas and a package of Rs 400 in urban areas. The average monthly income per ASHA was Rs 1,819 in Odisha in 2014-15.