A Million Hands of Hope and Change
India’s unsung angels of health and hope. The nearly million-strong ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers are the backbone of India’s rural health system. As health educators and promoters, they create awareness about public health and sanitation issues under the government’s National Rural Health Mission. Not only do they provide primary medical care for minor ailments but also arrange escort/accompany pregnant women & children requiring treatment/admission to the nearest pre-identified health facility. In fact, they are the first responders to any health crisis in India’s over 650,000 villages. They are primarily women and though called volunteers receive nominal outcome-based remuneration. We visit the ASHA (Hindi for hope) workers on the field in India’s villages to get a first-hand account of how they spread the word on corona and the challenges they face during the pandemic.