01 Mar 2014 - 30 Apr 2014
01 Mar 2014 - 30 Apr 2014
Despite significant improvements in health parameters like life expectancy at birth of and the reduction of infant mortality, there are large parts of the country where people continue to have very poor access to health care services and their health status continues to be abysmal. A high proportion of the population continues to suffer from and die of preventable conditions like maternal deaths, malaria and tuberculosis. Public spending on health in India, especially on preventive and promotive health is also very low in India. On the other hand the private, out of pocket expenditure on health is very high, about three times higher than the public expenditure. Thus there is an urgency to deal with the multiple health related crisis that the rural poor in the country are faced with.
“God has given me a life not just for celebration only but for doing something for the betterment of mankind so that when I leave the world, at least God will be happy that this child of mine has added some value in the society.” says 43 years old, Rangalata Meher, the Aanganwadi Worker (AWW) of Naktiguda G.P. Junagarh block of Kalahandi district.
She lives with her husband Kishore Chandra Meher and five children. Rangalata has been working as AWW for the last 17 years. She wanted to study further but she was married at the age of 14 years and gave birth to a son only after having four daughters against her wish.
Thus when she joined as AWW, the first thing she did was to educate women in the village to give as much priority to their daughters as to their sons, motivated them to send their girls to schools and also marriage of their daughters after 18 years age. As secretary of Naktiguda Gaon Kalyan Samiti (GKS), Rangalata participated in the training which discussed the roles and responsibilities of GKS under the Community based monitoring project in the area.
Trained on the roles of GKS member, Rangalata took the initiative for preparation of village health plan with other members and ensured proper utilisation of Untied Fund of Rs 10000/-. The expenditures were duly shared with the community and properly documented by the GKS and avoided any controversy relating to expenditure. She was proactive in establishing the monitoring committee in the village with 6 members to monitor the work of Anganwadi centre and proper utilization of GKS untied fund also the services provided by AWW, ANM. Male health Worker and ASHA.
Rangalata’s has been proactive in ensuring support to needy health cases from GKS fund and also ensured enrolment of the poor elderly people under the emergency feeding and other social safety schemes.
Sibratri Naik a 73 year, a elderly woman says that “I always prayed to God for a son and he gave me three. I thought I was the most blessed women. But when I needed them in my old age noon looked after me, nobody fed me. God bless Ranga who fed and looked after me and with her support I could get my old age pension. Really she is our village’s daughter. She proved that one daughter is better than three sons.”
Rangalata was awarded as the best AWW for Junagarh block and it is for her initiatives Naktiguda GKS got the best GKS award (Sustha Gaon Puraskar) last year. This year also her GKS has filed the form for the same honour.