Operation Mamata, a boon for Tharu women in UP

Lucknow: Four decades, women of the Tharu tribe living in villages in the Terai region of the Indo-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh, were deprived of even basic amenities like electricity and water, but now things are changing.

They had to travel to far off places for delivering their babies, but ‘Operation Mamata’, a campaign launched by the Yogi Adityanath government, has led to rejuvenation of six dilapidated auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) sub-health centres in Tharu dominated villages including Chandan Chowki, Gaurifanta, Najhota, Chhedia West, Bankati and Dhuskia.

The sub centres have been converted into full-fledged delivery centres and a total of 750 deliveries of babies have taken place there from April, 2020, to March, 2021.

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According to the government spokesman, the number of deliveries conducted by the ANM during the daytime and night at these sub-health centres are 464 and 286, respectively.

Prior to Operation Mamata, the sub-health centres faced frequent power outages, especially at nights. The state government has ensured installation of solar panels at all these sub-health centres to overcome this problem.

Operation Mamata was planned in the last week of January, 2020, and in just one year it has transformed the sub-health centres by providing the best facilities for conducting deliveries, immunizations and others.

During the ongoing Covid pandemic, medicine kits have also been made available to infected people through the sub-health centres in the area as well as 24-hour institutional delivery is being facilitated by ANMs.

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) Arvind Singh said the health centre in a Tharu village is located inside 40 kilometres of forest and provides improved institutional delivery and post-delivery care for women of the Tharu tribe, which has a population of around 50,000 on Indo-Nepalese border.

The local administration has given priority to recruiting ANMs at the six sub-health centres in order to ensure their availability round the clock.

The health centres boast of accommodation facility for ANMs. Besides, two other staff are deployed at the sub-health centres. Roads to and from these centres have been renovated. A solar power plant of 1 KW has also been installed to ensure power supply at night.

A proposal has been prepared to start 48 similar sub-health centres in remote countryside, including at Rani Nagar and Kiratpur soon. Efforts are on to provide better and timely health services to people living in far off and inaccessible areas.

The members of the Tharu community have also come forward to join the administration in rejuvenating the six health sub-centres, each of which caters to people of seven to eight villages. While the six sub-health centres of Palia area are already functioning, work is underway to rejuvenate the remaining ones and the locals are actively taking part in it along with the administration.

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