Charampa: A village-level female health worker, found begging in the streets of Charampa wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) kit in Bhadrak district, protested against the state government for not providing rehabilitation to many health workers like her. The worker was identified as Ashwini Padhee.
Notably, hundreds of auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) workers have been sitting on a dharna for the last two months at PMG Square in the state capital, Bhubaneswar, braving the winter, demanding rehabilitation.
Ashwini, along with other women, was recruited on a contractual basis by the state government during the COVID-19 pandemic peak period.
However, the contract period ended as the number of COVID-19 cases drastically declined and the pandemic situation improved in the state.
However, due to a shortage of budget, the state government did not renew the contract further after it expired December 31, 2020, leaving a lot of women health workers jobless.
“The state government appointed us to work as ‘COVID Warriors’ after the outbreak of coronavirus as the situation was very grim in the state. We risked our and our family members’ lives by working closely with COVID-19 patients. After working for around nine months, the government dismissed us without ensuring any rehabilitation,” Padhee said.
“The state government must provide aid to protect the livelihoods of around 8,000 paramedics in the state. We will intensify our protest in the coming days by begging everywhere in the state if it does not fulfill our demand,” Padhee warned.