Diwali gifts for Asha, Anganwadi workers

New Delhi: In good news for lakhs of Asha and Anganwadi workers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday announced a hike in their monthly honorarium from October.
In addition, all accredited social health activists (Asha) will be brought under the coverage of various social security schemes and provided free insurance cover under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.
The social health activists will not have to pay any premium for the insurance coverage and will get `4 lakh in case of any untoward incident, the prime Minister said during a video interaction with Asha, ANM (auxiliary nurse midwife) and Anganwadi workers from across the country.
He said the revised incentive will come into effect from October and it will reflect in their salaries from November onwards, which would be a Diwali gift for them.
Those who drew an honorarium of `3,000 will from now on get `4,500 and those who used to get `2,200 will get `3,500, he said. The honorarium of Anganwadi helpers will be hiked from `1,500 to `2,500, he said.
These are routine incentives given by the Centre to Asha and Anganwadi workers. The state governments also give them separate incentive.
There are around 14 lakh Anganwadis or child care centres in rural areas across the country and 10 crore beneficiaries, who include children under the age of six and pregnant women and lactating mothers. There are a total of 12,83,707 Anganwadi workers and 10,50,564 helpers.
There are a total of 10,23,136 accredited social health activists (Asha) across the country. Anganwadis were set up under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme.
Asha and Anganwadi workers are playing a critical role in strengthening the foundation of the country, ensuring health and wellbeing of the newborn, ensuring nutritional standards and maintaining cleanliness, he said.
The PM also announced that Anganwadi workers and helpers using techniques such as common application software (ICDS-CAS) would get additional incentives. The incentives, ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 500, would be based on performance.