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Local Givings - Prashant H Fadia And American India Foundation
A Sahiyya's Tribute!


Jankipur village is situated in the hills of Saraikela Block of Saraikela – Kharsawan district which is one of the most remote villages and is hard to reach throughout the year. The nearest Health Sub Centre is Charakpathar which is approximately 15 Km away from the village and falls under Mohitpur Panchayat. Jankipur village has 18 households and a population of 150. This is a Tribal village having majority of Ho tribes and a few Santhal households. The Sahiyya (ASHA) for this village is Champa Manjhi, around 24 years of age and literate.

This is a story of a Sahiyya (ASHA) who works for the good health of the entire village with minimum support from the government due to hilly terrain and hard to reach area. The health department outreaches its activity on Village Health and Nutrition Day once in 3 months which leads to poor ANC, PNC and immunization facilities and as a result 100% child deliveries are conducted at home.

Same was the case for Champa Manjhi during her pregnancy. As their family’s economic status was not good (Below Poverty Line) and their only source of income was cultivation, she had to work both in the house and in the field during the pregnancy. She was anemic and developed Jaundice during pregnancy. In the seventh month of her pregnancy i.e. on 1st May 2011 she delivered a premature baby (boy) at home as home delivery is common for entire Jankipur village. The boy was very weak. No health facilities were available in the village and the mother (Champa Manjhi) was not in a condition to move the child to Health Sub Center – Charakpathar (15 Km away) where minimum health facility was available or to the Primary Health Center, Saraikela or Sadar Hospital Saraikela which is approximately 40 Km away from her village. The Sahiyya was helpless as she could not even weigh her newborn. She had no idea of Home Based New Born Child Care. The child finally collapsed in front of the helpless mother – the Sahiyya (ASHA). She could do nothing to save her first newborn. With tears in her eyes and the body of the 21 days’ newborn in her lap she surrendered before the inevitable and decided not to continue as Sahiyya (ASHA) for the village.

Suddenly, one day she came to know from another Sahiyya that Sahiyyas were getting training on Home Based New Born Child Care by Tata Steel Rural Development Society under Project MANSI funded by American India Foundation and supported by National Rural Health Mission – Jharkhand, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Jharkhand. She attended the training with the full support from his husband and family members.

Now after the first training she is confident that she can save the life of newborns in her village with the help of knowledge and training of use of various medical equipments. In one sentence she said now I will not bow down before the inevitable, I will fight against it and save each and every child of my village so that in future there is not a single helpless mother in the village like me who can do nothing than wait and watch her child collapse in front of her. It will be my tribute to my first Child.                    

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