Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)

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The government is planning to give incentives to ASHA health activists for mobilising eligible individuals for sickle cell disease screening and distribution of sickle cell cards.

About Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)

  • ASHA is a trained female community health activist.
  • ASHA workers are a core part of the National Rural Health Mission launched by the Government of India.
  • Selected from the community itself and accountable to it, the ASHA will be trained to work as an interface between the communityand the public health system.


  • Act as a care provider at the community level.
  • Facilitating access to healthcare, medicine, and sanitation services.
  • Raising the level of awareness of health issues among the marginalised sections within the community.
  • Advocate for female health and hygiene standards.
  • Advocate for a health-conscious behaviour and approach to livelihood.
  • The ASHA scheme is presently in place in all States/UTs (except Goa).
  • The states are mandated to employ at least one ASHA worker per every 1000people.
  • They are chosen through a rigorous process of selectioninvolving various community groups, self-help groups, Anganwadi Institutions, Block Nodal officer, District Nodal officer, the village Health Committee and the Gram Sabha.
  • The States have been given the flexibility to relax the population norms as well as the educational qualifications on a case to case basis, depending on the local conditions as far as her recruitment is concerned.

Selection Criteria:

  • In rural areas, ASHA must primarily be a woman resident of the village married/ widowed/ divorced, preferably in the age group of 25 to 45 yearsand literatepreferably qualified up to 10th standard (formal education up to Class 8).
  • In urban areas, ASHA must be a woman resident of the “slum/vulnerable clusters” and belong to that particular vulnerable group which have been identified by City/District Health Society for selection of ASHA, and must have good communication and leadership skills.

Compensation for ASHA:

  • ASHA worker is primarily an “honorary volunteer” but is compensated for her time in specific situations (such as training attendance, monthly reviews, and other meetings).
  • On an average, an ASHA worker's monthlyincome varies from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 7,000 per month, depending on the state.
  • In addition, she is eligible for incentives offered under various national health programmes. 
  • She would also have income from the social marketing of certain healthcare products like condoms, contraceptive pills, sanitary napkins, etc. 

Q1: What is the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)?

The NRHM was launched on 12th April 2005, to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care to the rural population, especially the vulnerable groups.Under the NRHM, the Empowered Action Group (EAG) States as well as North Eastern States, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh have been given special focus.The thrust of the mission is on establishing a fully functional, community owned, decentralized health delivery system with inter-sectoral convergence at all levels.

Source: Govt mulling incentives for ASHA workers to mobilise individuals for sickle cell disease screening