ASHA Workers in India: Who are ASHA Workers

By Abhishek Jain |Updated : May 25th, 2022

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has awarded the 'Global Health Leaders Award-2022' to 'ASHA' workers of India during the event of the 75th 'World Health Assembly'. Eight volunteer polio workers have also been included in the 'Global Health Leaders Award'-2022 award. The award has been awarded for their efforts in connecting the community to the government's health programmes. 

Table of Content

ASHA Workers (Accredited Social Health Activists)

  • ASHA workers are volunteers working within the community, who are trained to provide information and help people avail themselves benefits of various health schemes of the government.
  • ASHA workers act as a bridge connecting marginalized communities with facilities such as primary health centers, sub-centers, and district hospitals.
  • The role of ASHA workers or 'community health volunteers' in India was first established in the year 2005 under the 'National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

What should be the eligibility for an ASHA worker

  • Volunteers should have good manners, communication, and leadership skills to work as ASHA workers; In addition, as per the guidelines of the program, it is necessary for the workers to have formal education up to class 8, the essential criterion for the ASHA worker.

ASHA Workers in the Country (State Wise)

  • At present, there are about 10.4 lakh ASHA workers working across the country.
  • The states with the highest number of ASHA workers in India are Uttar Pradesh (63 lakh), Bihar (89,437), and Madhya Pradesh (77,531).
  • Goa is the only state in India where there are no ASHA workers.

What are the roles and functions of ASHA workers?

  • ASHA workers go door-to-door in their designated areas to create awareness about basic nutrition, hygiene practices, and available health services.
  • Head of ASHA worker to focus on providing prenatal check-ups to women, ensuring a nutrition-rich diet during pregnancy, delivery in health facilities, and post-birth breastfeeding and training of obstetricians for supplementary nutrition of children have to work.
  • Counseling women about contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections is also the job of the ASHA worker.
  • ASHA workers ensure the immunization of children in India.
  • ASHA activists provide medicines daily to TB patients under the direct supervision of the National Programme.

How much are ASHA workers paid in India

  • ASHA worker is considered “Volunteer”, so governments are not obliged to pay them a salary, and most of the states do not give any salary to ASHA worker.
  • The income of the ASHA worker depends on the incentives offered under various schemes. These incentives are provided to 'ASHA workers' for tasks like ensuring an institutional delivery or getting the child vaccinated. For all these works, an ASHA worker is paid a mere Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 per month salary.

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FAQs

  • ASHA organizes the community and facilitates them to access health and health-related services such as immunization, antenatal check-up (ANC), post-natal check-up, supplementary nutrition, and sanitation available at Anganwadi/Sub-Centre/Primary Health Centers as well as provided by the government. It is also the work of ASHA workers to make aware of other services being done.

  • Under the present system, ASHA workers get Rs 2,750 as a basic honorarium of which Rs 2,000 comes from the Centre while the remaining Rs 750 is contributed by the state.

  • The full form of ASHA is Accredited Social Health Activist. ASHA are local women who are trained to act as health educators and promoters in their communities.

  • At present, there are about 10.4 lakh ASHA workers working across India.

  • In 2006, the Government of India launched the accredited social health activist (ASHA) program, with the goal to connect marginalized communities to the health care system.

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