New Delhi: In a major social sector initiative months before the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday rained sops for accredited social health activists (Asha) and anganwadi workers, by announcing a hike in their monthly honorarium from October onwards.
In addition, all Asha workers will be brought under the coverage of various social security schemes and given free insurance cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.
The activists won’t have to pay any premium for the insurance cover and will get Rs 4 lakhs in case of any untoward incident, the PM said in a video interaction with Asha, ANM (auxiliary nurse midwife) and anganwadi workers across the country.
He said the revised incentive will come into effect from October and reflect in their salaries from November onwards, that would be a Diwali gift for them.
Those who drew an honorarium of Rs 3,000 will from now on get Rs 4,500 and those who used to get Rs 2,200 will get Rs 3,500, he said.
The honorarium of anganwadi helpers will be hiked from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500, the Prime Minister informed.
These are routine incentive 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. The total number of anganwadi workers are 12,83,707 and helpers 10,50,564.
The total number of ASHA workers across the country are 10,23,136.
Anganwadis were set up under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme.