Ashas or Accredited Social Health Activists

are women community health workers working in a national government health program in India. They are the face of women community health workers across the globe, as the Asha program is one of the largest and most well-structured CHW programs globally.

Ashavani means both “the voice of hope” and “the voice of Ashas”


Ashavani is an e-platform that advocates the professional growth of women community health workers in India. It highlights the issues of the Asha workers that also have linkages with the concerns of other women community health workers across the globe.

Who are CHWs ?

Community health workers (CHWs) have been a part of primary health programs since several decades in countries across the world. They work largely in health programs for rural poor, marginalised, distant and slum communities. CHWs are largely women with some level of formal education and they carry out various health programs. They work for non - government and government programs. Each woman CHW is selected from her own village, trained, equipped and supervised by the government / NGO she works for and is paid some honorarium by them.

Major issues of CHWs

  • Payment

  • Lack of Regularisation and position in the health care system

  • Ashavani Statement to the Government

  • Safety

Ashavani e-platform Work Areas

  • Research on the Asha program

  • Advocacy for the rights of Asha workers

  • Training of Asha workers

  • Virtual participation in global initiatives

  • Maintaining an E-repository

  • Showcasing 

Yoga Class
Women in Workshop
Multi Ethnic Girls


Research on the Asha program.  

There is a lot of research on performance of community health workers but little on their working conditions.  We carry out research on the Asha program, highlighting these aspects and produce published papers in peer reviewed journals.


Advocacy for the rights of Asha workers. 

We advocate the rights of all women community health workers although we work with Ashas. There is a constant effort to keep the dialogue going through efforts like filing Right to Information (RTI) petitions, applications to the Union and State governments, participation in group platforms for changes in labour laws and participation on list serves. We respond directly to Ashas by intervening with the concerned authorities and local press to highlight topical issues.


Training of Asha workers

At the state and local levels, we maintain constant dialogue with Asha workers, and conduct small group leadership training for Ashas. We also train Ashas to be digitally literate in order to function better at work and also share their achievements and concerns. We have supported two information centres set up by Ashas through a registered non-government organisation formed by the Ashas in the state of Maharashtra.

Yoga Class
Women in Workshop
Multi Ethnic Girls

Virtual Participation

Virtual participation in global initiatives for the rights of women community health workers.

We have participated virtually in global initiatives for the rights of community health workers through participation on global working groups on community health workers, constant dialogue in global list serves, conferences, interviews and video presentations. We make extensive use of digital media to highlight the issues.

Maintaining an E-repository

We maintain documentation for reference, of significant legal Acts and developments for the rights and growth of community health workers. 



Showcasing photographic and audio-visual media made by Ashas and other community health workers highlighting their own work.



Kavita Bhatia,PhD

Independent researcher (India)


T: 91-022- 25828702

Ashavani is a virtual platform and not an organisation.
We are not associated with any political, commercial or non-commercial organisation.
We do not solicit any funding.

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