SRINAGAR — In a significant move to strengthen the grass root level health services in J&K, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has approved ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) for serving the Tribal or nomadic population of J&K.
J&K has a unique blend of diverse climate conditions, cultures, languages, economic practices and other identities. The tribal population in itself is a classic example of heterogeneity.
In June 2021, the Tribal Affairs Department, J&K initiated the first survey of the transhumant tribal population. It was aimed at welfare planning in the wake of the long-felt need for focused development. For catering for the healthcare needs of such a nomadic population, J&K has got the sanction of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs). The ASHAs for these areas will be chosen among the nomadic population which is surveyed by the Tribal department.
Yasin M. Choudhary, Mission Director, NHM J&K while giving details informed that as per the report received from the Tribal Affairs Department, more than 80 thousand transhuman populations undertake biannual migration between valleys or villages and highland pastures, along with livestock. To provide better healthcare services to these nomads, we have got the approval of about 334 ASHAs from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi.
ASHAs being engaged by NHM, J&K are working as a bridge between Health Department and the community. All the health schemes of NHM or J&K Government are being implemented by ASHAs at the grass root level. ASHA is a link through which the healthcare needs of the people are being catered.
At present, J&K has engaged about 13000 ASHAs who are serving the rural as well as the urban population of J&K. All the health schemes, whether Centrally-sponsored or State Government schemes are being implemented by ASHA at the grass root level. Tribal ASHA shall be a literate woman from within the tribal community who shall be trained for implementing all the health schemes of NHM or J&K Government among her Tribal community.
“By engaging the ASHAs for nomadic population, J&K Government shall provide access to healthcare services to this big transhuman tribal population, which they are lacking till now,” Yasin added.