Gadchiroli Nov. 8 (District Correspondent) The ASHA Workers and Group Promoters belonging to Maharashtra State Asha Workers and Group Promoters Association attached with ITUC staged the ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation in the city on Tuesday to raise their demands.
The workers marched to Indira Square from Gondwana Bhavan shouting slogans against the Central and State Government. After that, the march turned into a meeting. State Secretary of ITUC Vinod Zodge, District President Devrao Chawle, State Executive Member of Communist Party of India Dr. Mahesh Kopulwar led the agitation.
The workers have demanded salary scale like contract workers, annual salary increament, Diwali bonus and minimum wages for Asha workers etc. The workers then blocked the road for about 20 minutes at Indira Gandhi Chowk and shouted slogans against the government. Finally, when the police forcefully took the leaders of the movement into possession, the employees took a more aggressive stance and marched to the police station to court arrest.
As many as 1315 Asha Workers and Group Promoters from across the district were detained and released. The leaders declared that the strike will not be withdrawn unless the government GR is issued regarding the demands.
Mr. Vinod Zodge has warned that on Diwali day, black Diwali will be observed in front of the houses of MLAs, MPs and Ministers. Statewide indefinite strike of the Asha Workers and Group Promoters Action Committee has already been going on from October 18. The Health Minister held a meeting with the organization and paid Rs 7,200 to Asha Workers, Rs. 10,000 to group promoters and announced to give them contractual employee status and Diwali bonus of Rs.2000 but the employees are being pressured to call off the strike without issuing any GR in this regard hence the workers took an aggressive stance and got the attention of the government by holding a Jail Bharo protest today, he said.
The agitation was led by Com. Vinod Zodge, State Secretary ITUC, Com. Devrao Chavle District Secretary CPI, Dr. Mahesh Kopulwar CPI Leader, Balu Khobragade, Sachin Motkulwar, Sarita Naitam, District Secretary Asha Workers Association, Sangeeta Meshram, Jaymala Sorte, Jyotsna Bansod, Vidyadevi Yejulwar, Sonali Thakre, Maya Divate.
Thousands of Asha workers and group promoters from across the district participated in the agitation.