Yogi Govt’s ‘Operation Mamta’ illuminates the lives of thousands of Tharu tribe women

Lucknow: Four years ago, women of the Tharu tribe living in villages on the Indian Terai region of the Indo-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh, who had been deprived of even basic amenities like electricity and water for the past several decades and had to travel too far off places for delivery of babies, would not have imagined that health services would be so easily accessible to them and that deliveries would be so convenient in their neighborhood.

It, of course, has been the resolve of the Yogi Government, to provide the benefits of government schemes and facilities to all the women of the state. The ongoing ‘Operation Mamta’ campaign made all this happen.

The campaign has led to the rejuvenation of six dilapidated auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) sub-health centers in Tharu-dominated villages including Chandanchowki, Gaurifanta, Najhota, Chhedia West, Bankati and Dhuskia. The sub centres have been converted into full-fledged delivery centres and a total of 750 deliveries of babies have taken place there from April, 2020, to March, 2021, which was a dream four years ago.

The numbers of deliveries conducted by the ANM during the daytime and night at these sub-health centres are 464 and 286 respectively. Prior to Operation Mamta, the sub-health centres faced frequent power shortage especially at nights. But, the State Government ensured installation of solar panels at all these sub-health centres to overcome this problem.

Operation Mamta was planned in the last week of January, 2020, and in just one year it has transformed the sub-health centres by providing the best facilities for conducting deliveries, immunisations and others. During the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, medicine kits have also been made available to infected people through the sub-health centres in the area as well as 24-hour institutional delivery is being facilitated by ANMs.

24 hours delivery facility available at sub-health centres inside forest
The Chief Development Officer (CDO) Arvind Singh informed that 24-hour safe delivery facility is being provided even at the health centre in a Tharu village located inside 40 kilometres of forest. Operation Mamta was launched as a pilot project, in association with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), in February, 2020, to improve institutional delivery and post-delivery care for women of the Tharu tribe, which has a population of around 50,000 on Indo-Nepalese border. Now, all the necessary facilities have been provided at these health centres to ensure a safe delivery for women. According to the CDO, the Chief Medical Officer of the capital Lucknow and former CMO of Lakhimpurkhiri Dr Manoj Agarwal played significant role in making Operation Mamta a success.

Administration, locals join hands to rejuvenate sub-centres
The members of the Tharu community came forward to join the administration in rejuvenating the six health sub-centres, each of which caters to people of seven to eight villages. While the six sub-health centres of Palia area are already functioning, work is underway to rejuvenate the remaining ones and the locals are actively taking part in it along with the administration. The Yogi Government is equipping these sub-health centres with all the facilities to ensure safe deliveries at the village itself and to save obstetricians the pain of travelling long distances at odd hours for carrying out a delivery.

It is worth mentioning here that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken several concrete steps to uplift the tribal community, including the Tharu tribe in the last four years of his tenure.

Locals posted at ANM centres
The administration has given priority to recruiting ANMs at the six sub-health centres in order to ensure their availability 24×7. The health centres boast of accommodation facility for ANMs. Besides, two other staff are deployed at the sub-health centres. Roads to and from these centres have been renovated. A solar power plant of 1 KW has also been installed to ensure power supply at night.

48 similar health sub-centres likely soon
A proposal has been prepared to start 48 similar sub-health centres in remote countryside, including at Raninagar and Kiratpur soon. Efforts are on to provide better and timely health services to people living in far off and inaccessible areas.

Dr Manoj Agarwal says that the beginning has been made from the Tharu-dominated area because it is the border area of the country and the roads are also not good. Earlier, people took a lot of time to reach hospitals for delivery. The sub-health centres at Palia have solved this problem as deliveries are being done in their neighbourhood.

It is noteworthy that the Yogi Government has revamped the state’s women’s hospitals and expanded medical facilities rapidly in the last four years. The Government, which provides medical facilities from village to village along with district hospitals, Centre for Healthcare Strategies (CHCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs), has put special emphasis on sub-health centres to ensure availability of health services to people living in the remotest corners of the state with poor connectivity.