PM says skill and dedication of ASHA workers appreciated by Bill and Melinda Gates
New Delhi, Sep 20: In the elections meeting representatives of such a big work force is a suave move. After a big salary hike to Anganwari and ASHA workers and their helpers along with free insurance cover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met their representative in Delhi as a group of about 90 ASHA representatives from across the country and around 100 Anganwadi workers called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 19-20, 2018. They were also accompanied by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda and Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi.
There were 8.70 lakh ASHA workers in the country in 2013 and 13.42 lakh Anganwari in 2014. Social security measures and people involved in it are helping the government scheme to reach people. Moreover, it becomes all the more important when elections are approaching. While speaking to these workers, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of nutrition in a child's physical and cognitive development. He said that Anganwadi workers have a key role to play in this regard. Referring to the ongoing Poshan Maah (nutrition month), the Prime Minister said that the momentum that has been built up during this campaign should not flag.
He said that nutrition requires constant focus and development of good habits, which can be provided by Anganwadi workers. He exhorted them to ensure that the nutritional assistance being made available to beneficiaries is used judiciously. Children will listen more to Anganwadi workers. They have a key role in generating awareness. He encouraged healthy competition among Anganwadis, as a motivation for better nutritional care and efforts among various Anganwadi workers.
The PM recalled his recent interaction with the ASHA and Anganwadi workers across the country via video conference. He appreciated the experiences and personal accounts that had been shared by ASHA representatives that day, and said that these would surely prove inspirational for many.
ASHA activists shared some more accounts of how they had been instrumental in saving lives of poor mothers and children through timely intervention. The Prime Minister appreciated the skill and dedication of ASHA workers, and recalled that even Bill and Melinda Gates had praised the efforts of ASHAs towards eradication of diseases such as Kala Azar.
He encouraged them to devote their energies to work in coordination with other government agencies to improve the quality of life in their villages. He also explained how Government schemes and initiatives are all aimed at empowering the poor to fight poverty.
The Prime Minister announced the doubling of routine incentives given by the Union Government to ASHA workers. In addition, all ASHA workers and their helpers would be provided
Prime Minister also announced significant increase in the honorarium given to Anganwadi workers. Those receiving Rs. 3000 so far, would now receive Rs. 4500. Similarly, those receiving Rs. 2200, would now get Rs. 3500. The honorarium for Anganwadi helpers has also been increased from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2250.