ASHA workers in fear after threat from villagers in Patiala

ASHA workers in fear after threat from villagers in Patiala

Photo for representational purpose only

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 31

Amid the ongoing resistance against health officials in rural areas, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers are under a threat of social outcast.

After consistent opposition of health officials for random sampling, villagers are now scapegoating ASHA workers as soft target for ‘helping’ the Health Department.

ASHA workers alleged that they were abused by villagers, especially women, as they were working for the Health Department.

An ASHA worker working in a village of Samana block, requesting anonymity, said, “Women of the village came with sticks to my house and threatened that they will throw me out of the village if I bring doctors to the village again.”

Pal Kaur, another ASHA worker, said, “The villagers opposed health and police officials for the camp on Sunday. Villagers are very aggressive and abuse us. There is a sense of fear because villagers continue to pass comments on us. The hostile environment against ASHA workers is very evident.”

Gurlabh Kaur, another ASHA worker, said people had started showing indifferent attitude towards them. “We have been working for them for more than 10 years. Now, they have started targeting us because of false rumours. The environment is scary.”

It has been learned that an audio clip of an ASHA worker asking her colleagues to bring two people each from their respective villages for Covid testing went viral. The audio clip is being linked with an organ stealing racket by some miscreants.

Harinder Kaur, president of the ASHA Workers’Union, said, “People say that we get commission from the Health Department for each Covid sample. This is totally baseless. We are not even getting extra incentive for Covid work. In fact, the social media is playing a spoilsport in the fight against the pandemic.”

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