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Female health volunteers grieve their contribution unsung



Health Camp in Jajarkot

Kailali, Dec 6: The female community health volunteers (FCHVs) in Kailali district have complained that the government had not acknowledged the value of their labour.

They lamented that although they had been working tirelessly to address the community’s problems and to make healthcare services more effective, their efforts were belittled.

Rampyari Chaudhary of Tikapur shared that the female members in her community used to be very excited to be FCHVs in the past, but these days, they are disappointed. The government, she said, had been piling up more workload on them without considering increasing incentives or other facilities.

She argued, “The remuneration of a normal labourer is Rs 600 per day. But, we are paid only Rs 400 per day. This disparity in wage is waning the interest of becoming FCHVs among the women,” she expressed.

According to her, those educated girls including FCHVs from her locality have opted for foreign jobs. “Over a dozen of FCHVs in Kailali have sought greener pasture. New FCHVs are recruited in her place, but they need more motivation from the government so that they could discharge their duty more actively.”

One among the disgruntled FCHVs in the locality is Muktidhara Devi Sharma. She bemoaned, “We do not have food and drinking water facility during our duty. We have been rendering services by eating at home.”

FCHVs are crucial in facilitating healthcare services in health posts, immunization drive, Aama Samuha and ward/municipality meeting among others.

According to FCHV Rukmani Sharma, she became FCHV after battling odds. In her experience, women prefer sharing their health related problems to FCHVs.

They have been raising awareness about nutrition and reproductive health to women and young girls.

Coordinator of FCHVs in Tikapur Sula Rawal Khatri said that the FCHVs were at the receiving end of domestic violence in lack of cooperation from their spouse and not getting paid according on par with labour. She explained, “While running household chores, we may have to join in social campaign. Our houses are in mess while we go to serve the community.”

She sadly voiced that neither the government nor their family or society had properly acknowledged their efforts, let alone taking a judicious move to make them further motivated in discharging their duty delightfully. RSS