PM Modi announced the Diwali gift for this Diwali on Tuesday. He directed the central authorities to increase the monthly income of ASHA and Anganwadi workers along with the extra incentives.
Under the new provisions, workers of the All accredited Social Health activist (ASHA) will now be covered under the various social security schemes with the insurance cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.
During a Video conference with the ASHA and Anganwadi workers on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the social workers will not have to pay the premium amount for the insurance cover of Rs 4 lakh from now.
The pay hike will come into effect from October and will be received to ASHA and Anganwadi workers as a Diwali gift in the salary of November. Earlier, those who are getting Rs 3,000 will now get Rs 4,500 and those taking Rs 2,200 will receive Rs 3,500 in future.
Additional salary will also be received for those using techniques like Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) by the central government now and there are the chances that the state Government will provide them the separate incentives.
As per the recent data, there are about 12,83,707 Anganwadi workers in the country with their 10,50,564 helpers and 10 crore beneficiaries among which includes children below the age of 4 years and pregnant women.
Reacting to the move by the PM Modi, Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi said that she was grateful to the PM for leading the ‘Pooshan maah’ to fight against the malnutrition.
She said, “Over the last 4 years, we have been putting the pieces of puzzle together so that the fight against malnutrition can be taken up in a mission mode. The first aspect we dealt was increase of daily cost norms for the beneficiaries of the ICDS programme. The second was to have a technology-based real-time monitoring system of Anganwadi services. These two have been put in place”.
Gandhi further urged the parents to bring their to Anganwadi centre as she said, “The better you feed your child, the smarter he or she would be”.