Report by Mazdoor Ekta Committee Correspondent
On 8th October 2023, ASHA workers along with other workers held a massive rally at the HUDA Ground in Karnal district of Haryana. The rally was jointly organized by CITU, Khet Mazdoor Sabha, and ASHA Worker Union. Leaders of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha also participated in the rally. Over 30 thousand – ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, mid-day meal workers, rural sanitation workers, building construction workers, watchmen, forest workers and agricultural workers participated in the rally.
Representatives of Mazdoor Ekta Committee too participated in this rally.
Addressing the gathering, the speakers said that the demands of ASHA workers in Haryana are being ignored and instead of solving them, their problems are being suppressed. Earlier, Anganwadi workers were also similarly mistreated and their struggle was repressed.
The speakers demanded an immediate end to the ongoing privatization of public institutions and said that the government is slowly handing over the country’s public and government run sectors to big capitalists. Instead of permanent recruitment, recruitment is being done on contract basis. Speakers also raised that education is being privatized through the New Education Policy-2020, as a result of which most of the country’s population will be deprived of education. Government health services infrastructure is being destroyed and private hospitals are being enabled to loot the government treasury through schemes like Ayushmaan Bhava. The government is trying its best to benefit private companies through the Electricity Bill 2023. They pointed to the fact that the unity of the workers is being destroyed by creating an atmosphere of communal and caste hatred among the people. Media entities that raise their voices for the people and talk of democratic rights, are being attacked.
At the end of the rally, a charter of demands was also given to the Haryana government, which includes major demands of provision of better education and health facilities for all; revision of the monthly minimum wage in the state to Rs.26,000, temporary and contract workers under various government schemes should be made permanent; repeal of anti-worker labor codes and the contract system; filling of vacant posts in government departments through permanent recruitment, guaranteed procurement of all crops at MSP and withdrawal of the Electricity Bill 2023.