Bengaluru: With a demand for a fixed monthly honorarium of Rs 12,000 among others, hundreds of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) from across Karnataka held a massive protest here on Friday. Clad in pink sarees, activities, who had descended on the city railway station from across the state, marched towards the Freedom Park here. Their protest march had led to traffic chaos in the citys central business district area. Their other demands include immediate release of payments as most of them have not been paid properly for the past 15 months; and also delinking of the Reproductive Child Health (RCH) portal from ASHA Soft, the Centres online payment system for ASHAs. As ASHA workers began the protest, Health Minister B Sriramulu said he would discuss and try to resolve all their issues. In a tweet, he said the government was ready to address all their issues and requested them to go back to their respective places. Among the 10 demands of ASHA workers, we have already fulfilled seven of them; remaining demands will be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister. The government, after consideration, will take suitable decision, he said in another tweet. Later, a team of Health Department officials visited the protest site and tried to negotiate. With negotiations not yielding fruit, the protesters continued their demonstration at Freedom Park. Hours later, the leaders of KarnatakaState Samyukta ASHA Workers Association, who had planned to stage a two-day day and night strike in Bengaluru and continue the strike indefinitely in their respective places till their demands are met, decided to go back on Friday itself, with city police not giving them permission. Association leaders said they would start an indefinite strike from Saturday at their respective places by not providing service.
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