The world is now plagued by epidemic of the Novel Coronavirus . The entire population of the world is affected by it .When Madhubala Sharma, an Accredited Social Health Activist ( called Asha) worker, steps out on the deserted streets of Dehradun, she puts on a face mask she has made out of a grocery bag.
During her door-to-door trips in which she questions people if they have experienced any symptoms linked to Covid-19 or if they have guests from another nation or state , she keeps an eye out for public taps. A bar of soap, half-used, is tucked away in her bag.
Asha workers, part of whose work is to go door-to-door and find out about Covid patients, cry for help in the absence of protective gear, attacks from anxious families. While lack of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses has became headlines, many Asha workers like Sharma, also on the frontline of Covid-19 battle, don’t have access to gloves and sanitisers. In some cases, masks have been given, but they haven’t been replaced or were torn and therefore unusable. Shiva Dubey, president of Uttarakhand Asha workers’ association, told us that some Asha members in the state were given single-use masks initially, but no replacements were distributed.
“We also got a few bottles of sanitisers and were told to share them. We ran out within days,” she said. In Maharashtra too, some of the masks that were distributed were torn, forcing Asha workers to use their dupattas and pallu to cover their face, said Suman Pujari, state president of Many Asha workers on the frontline of Covid-19 battle don’t have access to gloves and sanitisers .