Civil surgeon Gopal Srivastava presents a trophy to Sabita Devi from Tamar in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is dangling a big carrot for sahiyas or village level women health workers.
State programme co-ordinator Akai Minz announced that an expert team would be formed later this year that would evaluate the performance of the sahiyas and select the eligible ones among the 2,800-odd sahiyas to be declared as certified community health workers.
Minz said this while addressing delegates at Ranchi district Sahiya Sammelan at Social Development Centre on Purulia Road in the state capital on Wednesday. She also felicitated 28 sahiyas during the function for encouraging institutional deliveries. Each of them got a certificate, a memento and a cash award of Rs 1,500.
Speaking to The Telegraph on the sidelines of the programme, Minz said the NRHM would introduce this evaluation system in four states, including Jharkhand, on a pilot basis.
The state chapter will also make attempts to enrol sahiyas who have cleared their Class XII board examinations for nursing courses. Those, who have only cleared the matric, will also be encouraged to study further, Minz added.
Besides, the sahiyas — who are used to getting a fixed amount of remuneration for a specific job — will get a hike as well as receive an honorarium of Rs 1,000 a month from this financial year.
“Spreading happiness among rural people is the real mission of the sahiyas,” Minz reminded the delegates.
She added that the sahiyas must ensure antenatal care of mothers and encourage them to go for institutional deliveries. Unfortunately, home deliveries still account for about 40 per cent of the total deliveries across the state.
Director of health services A.K. Chaudhary stressed on reducing the mortality rate among mothers and infants.
“Our intention is to reduce the mortality rate of mothers and infants. Things become easy if the delay in taking a decision about institutional delivery and arranging a Mamata Vahan for ferrying the mother is avoided,” he added.
The sahiyas are more than happy.
“It is nice that we will be getting an honorarium from now onward,” said Nusrat Parveen from Angara.