Elizabeth Xavier (left) an ASHA worker of Kurichi gram panchayat in Kottayam district of Kerala. ASHA workers in Kerala play a central role in Covid-19 response in the state but are demanding the status of workers.

COVID-19

ASHAs Within the ‘Kerala Model’ Lead Covid-19 Response, Get Little in Return

Our 16-state survey found that in Kerala, ASHAs, women health workers at the frontlines of India’s resistance to Covid-19, feel empowered and respected. Yet, their demands of being treated as a regularised workforce are ignored New Delhi/Kottayam (Kerala): “In the Covid-19 resistance, we are as active as doctors and nurses,” said Rajini Laiju, an woman health worker, or ASHA, from Kurichy gram panchayat in Kerala’s Changanaserry tehsil in the district of Kottayam. “Even though we are the least paid among everyone else on the Covid-19 team, our role is primary and important. This gives us immense satisfaction.”The upper limit of