State reassures protesting ASHAs...once again
, and • South Mumbai, Maharashtra

State reassures protesting ASHAs...once again

Thousands of ASHA workers – women health activists – from across 36 districts of Maharashtra have been rallying for better pay, given on-time, and an official order to that effect. Their recent protest in the city’s Azad Maidan grounds went on for 21 days and was called off after the state announced that it would look into their demands. This is the third official assurance in the last six months, but the promises remain off paper. A story on International Women’s Day about women, their solidarity and fight for their rights

March 8, 2024 | Ritu Sharma and Swadesha Sharma

Maharashtra's anganwadi workers go on strike

Across the state, two lakh women who work through the year, implementing all the health, nutrition and early learning initiatives of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), launched a protest demanding that they be recognised as government employees along with pension and increased honorarium

December 13, 2023 | Jyoti Shinoli

Periods of hell in Bhamragad
and • Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

Periods of hell in Bhamragad

In Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district, menstrual stigma forces women of the Madia community into exile. Staying isolated in crumbling and unsanitary ‘kurma ghar’ severely affects their physical and mental health

November 8, 2023 | Jyoti Shinoli

In Kolhapur, ASHAs tell a SAD story
and • Kolhapur, Maharashtra

In Kolhapur, ASHAs tell a SAD story

All is not well with the mental health of women health workers in rural Maharashtra as they grapple with the adverse effects of climate change and deteriorating working conditions

November 25, 2022 | Sanket Jain

The magical hands of Gunamay dai
and • Osmanabad, Maharashtra

The magical hands of Gunamay dai

Gunamay Kamble, an expert midwife in Osmanabad district, attended hundreds of home births – even those with complications. But her skills born of long experience were devalued in the push for hospital births

November 15, 2022 | Medha Kale

The village midwife is ‘no ordinary woman’

Tara Ubhe, from Mulshi taluka , Pune, talks about the inception of the Grindmill Songs Project, and sings a few ovi on the importance of midwives and the loss of their invaluable knowledge

March 31, 2022 | Namita Waikar and PARI GSP Team

ASHAs in UP: 'We are free servants or what?'

Assembly poll duties with high risks – assigned without any written orders – once again put Uttar Pradesh’s overworked and underpaid ASHA workers in a vulnerable, even dangerous position

March 14, 2022 | Jigyasa Mishra

RMPs in Jharkhand: a ‘healing’ driven by trust
and • Pashchimi Singhbhum, Jharkhand

RMPs in Jharkhand: a ‘healing’ driven by trust

A ramshackle healthcare system, along with infrastructure challenges in the interior villages of Pashchimi Singhbhum district, make 'Rural Medical Practitioners’ indispensable – and health a matter of faith

February 3, 2022 | Jacinta Kerketta

The last few birthing mothers of Melghat
, and • Amravati, Maharashtra

The last few birthing mothers of Melghat

In the Adivasi settlements around Maharashtra’s Melghat tiger reserve, dais like Ropi and Charku have for decades handled home deliveries. But both are elderly and there is no one to carry forward their legacy

January 28, 2022 | Kavitha Iyer

In Madhubani, girls are born but not certified

Women from poor families in Bihar’s Madhubani district face hurdles when accessing health services at the best of times. So when petty corruption surfaces in the few systems that serve them at all, they’re helpless

October 27, 2021 | Jigyasa Mishra

In Beed, waiting for a pandemic paradigm shift

Though praised as ‘fighters and heroes’ for their role in managing Covid-19, Maharashtra’s frontline workers feel ignored and insecure – they have been fighting for job security and financial stability

August 6, 2021 | Parth M.N.

‘Without RHOs we are helpless and hopeless’
, and • Narayanpur, Chhattisgarh

‘Without RHOs we are helpless and hopeless’

As a senior rural health officer in an Adivasi belt of Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district, Urmila Dugga’s list of tasks is long – and it’s RHOs like her on the ground who keep the public healthcare system running

June 11, 2021 | Priti David

In Madhubani: surreptitiously seeking a change

A decade ago, Bihar's Hasanpur village mostly bypassed family planning. Now, women often approach healthcare volunteers Salah and Shama for an injectable contraceptive. What brought about this shift?

April 13, 2021 | Kavitha Iyer

'Our office and sleeping area are the same'

Shortage of space and lack of facilities compel health workers in a primary health centre in Bihar’s Darbhanga district to sleep in the office, on ward beds, and sometimes even on the floor

March 26, 2021 | Jigyasa Mishra

‘For us there is always a lockdown – and work’

Stigma, poor pay, discrimination, arduous hours of life-saving work – nurses have been among those at highest risk during the pandemic. PARI interacts with some of these real frontline warriors in Chennai

March 4, 2021 | Kavitha Muralidharan

ASHAs: labouring through the lockdown

In Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district, ASHAs have been working overtime to monitor the spread of Covid-19, despite poor safety gear and delayed payments – along with their usual load as frontline health workers

August 13, 2020 | Ira Deulgaonkar

Counting cows, not rural health indicators
, , , and • Sonipat, Haryana

Counting cows, not rural health indicators

Underpaid and over-burdened with endless surveys, reports and tasks, Sunita Rani and other ASHA workers of Haryana’s Sonipat district struggle to attend to the reproductive health needs of rural families

May 8, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle and Pallavi Prasad

ASHAs: fighting a pandemic with no protection

ASHA workers in Haryana’s Sonipat district have been pushed to the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19 in a later-than-last-minute attempt to control a pandemic – with no safety gear and very little training

April 18, 2020 | Pallavi Prasad

'Last year, only one man agreed to a vasectomy'

'Male engagement' in family planning is a buzzword, but the Vikas Mitras and ASHA workers of Bihar report little success in convincing men to undergo sterilisation, and contraception continues to be left to women

March 18, 2020 | Amruta Byatnal

Caring for villages, in sickness and in health

Village health workers – ASHAs in state records – hold up the nation's primary healthcare system. Yet, they are paid tiny amounts, get no benefits, and struggle with shortages of supplies and long hours

January 15, 2019 | Jyoti Shinoli

Karimul’s medical motorcycle diaries

Popularly known as Ambulance Dada, Karimul Haque is a tea garden worker in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal who runs a unique ‘bike ambulance’ free of cost for villagers. He was recently awarded the Padma Shri

February 10, 2017 | Souryajit Nath & Arindam Bachar & Debannita Biswas

‘In emergencies we are really stranded’
and • South 24 Parganas, West Bengal

‘In emergencies we are really stranded’

Falling ill in the Sundarbans is a gamble. With difficult terrain, only a handful of healthcare centres and few doctors, the people turn to mobile medical units or other long-distance options – usually at great cost

August 3, 2016 | Urvashi Sarkar