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Death of ASHA worker: NHRC seeks compliance from Odisha Chief Secretary

ANI | Updated: Nov 07, 2020 23:45 IST

New Delhi [India], November 7 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recommended Odisha Government to pay Rs 3 lakh to the family members of Mini Pradhan, an ASHA worker from Daringbadi health center under Kandhamal District, as she died four years ago, due to lack of ambulance, road, and mobile connectivity.
While disposing of a case filed by Supreme Court lawyer and noted human rights activist, Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC sought the compliance report of payment of compensation latest by December 13, 2020.
Alleging failure of the State in saving the life of Mini and her child and seeking heavy compensation, Tripathy sought a fair probe of the incident and assurance of road, ambulance, and mobile connectivity in a time-bound manner.
Pursuant to the directions of the NHRC, the Director (Administration) National Health Mission, Odisha, stated that mobile connectivity is still not up to the mark in the area.
Under the Sampurna scheme, the Government reimburses the transportation cost for the pregnant women from difficult villages where 108/102 ambulances cannot reach, since September 2017, Tripathy alleged in his plea.

The NHRC observed that State authorities have admitted their guilt and inaction in the hours of need and emergency by stating that under the Sampurna scheme, the Government has introduced the provision for reimbursement of transportation cost for pregnant women from difficult villages where the ambulances cannot reach.
The NHRC expressed its serious displeasure over the contention of the state that Emergency Management being a complex subject with the integration of various resources and operating in a fairly compromised scenario and most conditions are being not ideal conditions, it is not feasible to provide ambulance in all the cases.
The NHRC questioned that if State's ambulance can not reach the difficult terrain where there is no proper connectivity or has poor road connectivity, how private transport facility can operate for which the State claims to provide for reimbursement of transportation cost for the pregnant women from difficult villages.
The NHRC observed that an ASHA worker is a well-known person in the area and the inquiry report submitted by the State revealed that Mini Pradhan had last attended the Village Health Nutrition Day (VHND) session on September 2, 2016, where she had informed the Doctor about her expected date of delivery was on the same day. On that day her other vitals were within the normal range.
Holding the health authorities also negligent. the NHRC held the State authorities violated the human rights of not only the deceased, Mini Pradhan, but also her newly born child. (ANI)