ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers are part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) launched in 2005 to provide rural areas access to better healthcare facilities. ASHA workers form the backbone of this scheme. The scheme was initially designed to make sure that there is ‘doorstep delivery’ of health services to rural communities, and ASHA workers became the veritable foot soldiers of this scheme. The burden of reaching the homes of people in rural areas fell on the shoulders of ASHA workers.
The urban poor of the Delhi-NCR region have been reeling under the disastrous impact of successive lockdowns and the fatal second wave of CoVID. The incessant spells of monsoon rain taking over the city’s roads and spaces have added to their woes. And now the Haryana government has dealt yet another ruthless blow to them - a massive demolition of thousands of houses is currently underway in Khori Gaon situated in Faridabad, administratively under Haryana.
The recent victory of contract workers of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing (RAKCON) marks a significant milestone in the history of health workers struggle in Delhi. They won in the midst of the COVID pandemic, against criminal negligence by the central government and defying anti-people laws being passed by the Parliament. On 1st February this year, about 40 contractual employees were fired from RAKCON located in Moolchand, Delhi without any notice. Since then, the employees have been waging a battle against the termination.
The deadly Covid wave of April-May 2021 hit Delhi very badly after receding in last December. According to official data, infection rate this time was as high as adding 28,395 new cases each day in mid-April. And the death rate was as high as 448 each day in early May.