Attitude towards ASHA Workers

An underdeveloped semi-feudal society considers the ASHA worker some kind of ‘low caste’ woman who is given the status of ‘Chamarin’ i.e., a Dalit. She is often humiliated by doctors and permanent nursing staff if she fails to bring the patients in time due to difficulty in transportation, which is actually not her fault.

Lack of infrastructural facilities like proper roads, local transport etc. are still major issues in rural Bihar. The ASHA workers are supposed to be given a meagre sum of Rs. 600 for each institutional delivery, but according to first-hand accounts, they get only Rs. 300 and the rest is shared by the staff in the PCHs. It is also strange that Rs 150 per child as honorarium is given to an Asha worker only under the condition that she achieves total 100% immunization in the village; in case it drops to 50% she is paid nothing, whereas for a pulse polio programme she is given a paltry sum of Rs. 75 for a whole day of work. For an individual completing family planning, Rs. 150 is given. Several ASHA workers have complained of sexual harassment by doctors, male employees at the PHCs and hospitals as well as male relatives of the expectant mother.

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