Translated by Kiran Mane (Senior Project Officer, Swayam Shikshan Prayog) and Edited by Dr. Sandhya Joshi (Research Director, ARMMAN)
This is the story of Sangeeta Shinde (34) [Named Changed to protect identity], from Hangarga- nal village in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra who transformed her life from a hapless widow to an empowered health entrepreneur with support from DFID mMitra Arogya Sakhi Home Based Care Project. Recently, she was recommended to be inducted as ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker in the village health sub centre.
Sangeeta related the following to ARMMAN’s field partner organization Swayam Shikshan Prayog staffer who translated it from Marathi to English. In our project the Arogya Sakhi or trained health entrepreneur refer to their clients as ANCs. Now read on:
I am working as DFID mMitra Arogya Sakhi since last year. I have two children. My younger child lives with me. I have sent my older one to an orphanage because I am not capable to protect and look after him. My husband died few years back. Since then there is no earning member in my family, I had no choice but to take responsibilities and look after my family. I started working whole and sole in the 3 acres family farm and started tailoring work on the side to make ends meet. I got an opportunity to work as Arogya Sakhi since January 2013. When I started the work in the village I faced many of obstacles. Firstly, I did not know village people and localities within well. But I did not get afraid and carried on my work somehow. Now I am providing home based ante natal care services to 10 ANCs of my village. In addition I provide 7 of them access to voice me ssages and animation access to all 10 ANCs.
Out of 10 ANCs Radhatai (age 21, education 10th) is also a second gravida ANC. In first trimester she was having PV discharge with abdominal pain. It happened because of heavy farm work. After this problem she visited me. She told me her problem. I did the all tests regarding pregnancy. I observed some danger signs in her pregnancy. I immediately referred her to the hospital. Radhatai also was prompt in consulting a doctor for treatment. Now Radhatai is normal. She is happy with my service. After this incident I am monitoring Radhatai’s pregnancy regularly.
I am very proud to share the good news that our Village Sarpanch has decided to promote me as the ASHA for my village.