NHRC calls for reports from the Centre and States on the allegations of poor working conditions of ASHA workers in the rural areas across the country

New Delhi, 24th May,2021

The National Human rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken cognizance of a complaint that the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers are not getting their dues and safety equipment despite being working on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic in the rural areas across the country. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and to the Chief of Secretaries of the States to submit their reports on the issues raised in the complaint within six weeks.

The Commission has observed that the allegations, if true, raise very crucial issues as the entire health management system of the vast rural population across India depends upon these ASHA workers.

Therefore, the reports must carry the details on how many ASHA workers are working in each state; status and amount of remuneration and other dues paid to them during the pandemic; arrears due to them; health protection measures instituted for their protection to discharge their professional functions; facilities provided to these health workers and their families to protect health needs; compensation in the event of fatality incurred during discharge of duty; long term health insurance/ protection; social security/ protection facilities as per the extant guidelines.