Mute, deaf, blind: Rahul Gandhi corners government on Asha workers' protest

Mute, deaf, blind: Rahul Gandhi corners government on Asha workers' protest

Rahul Gandhi on Saturday morning hit out at the Modi-led BJP government for showing "apathy" towards the Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers, who are expected to go on a strike against the central government as India persists combats the coronavirus pandemic. The Congress leader, in his tweet said: "Asha workers reach door to door across the country. They are truly health warriors but today they are forced to strike for their own right. The government was dumb, but now it is also blind and deaf."

This comes at a time when almost 6 lakh Asha workers are planning to go on a two-day nationwide strike, which has been called by central trade unions against the Centre for not providing adequate assistance -- lack of safety equipment, delay in pittance -- as India continues to combat the deadly coronavirus, said media reports. "We get only 2,000 rupees a month for working from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are not provided masks or sanitizer,” Sulochana Rajendra Sabde, a 45-year-old Asha worker in Maharashtra told Business Standard. Sabde added that she is yet to be paid the extra 2,000 rupees per month which was promised by the Maharashtra government for coronavirus-related work. Significantly, according to a report published by Bloomberg, Asha workers have played a significant role in contact-tracing, carrying out surveys and organising awareness schemes for the coronavirus in India.