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Ayushman Bharat Yojana Chinks In Spotlight

Grievances related to the Ayushman Bharat scheme dominated the state-level consultation on health and education organised by Life Education and Development Support (Leads) and Child in Need Institute (CINI) at a hotel here on Wednesday.

Most of the villagers, who spoke at the event attended by representatives of NGOs and political parties, highlighted how they were not getting the benefits of the much-touted healthcare programme funded by the Narendra Modi-government despite being covered by it.

Amrit Mahto, who came from Petarwar in Bokaro district, alleged that some of the empanelled facilities were charging money for tests and treatments from Ayushman Bharat card holders.

Ranchi’s Manika Ekka, also a beneficiary of Ayushman Bharat, supported Mahto. “A hospital in Ranchi asked me to buy medicines from outside despite me showing them my Ayushman Bharat card,” Ekka alleged.

A resident of Khunti, Rijwana Parveen, complained of rude behaviour by doctors who kept her in the dark about her four-year-old daughter’s treatment.

Highlighting the problems plaguing the education sector in the state, Jogen Kumar, a member of the NGO Chetna Vikas, said the shortage of teachers in schools was a major stumbling block to quality education.

Another NGO worker, who introduced himself as Mithilesh, called attention to the lack of proper infrastructure in schools located in remote areas.

On the basis of the consultations, A.K. Singh of Leads placed a charter of demands in respect of education while Sumantra Mukherjee of Civil Society Network for Child Rights did the same with respect to health.

Health care for all, more resources for health care facilities, a proper review of Ayushman Bharat scheme and its improvement were some of the demands mentioned in the health charter.

The demands listed in the education charter included proper implementation of the provisions of Right to Education Act and widening its ambit to 18-year-old boys and girls.

Avinash Narayan from AAP said his party had worked on these issues in Delhi and would do so in Jharkhand as well if voted to power.

“As always, we will continue our fight to realise people’s right to health and education,” Md Bashir of CPI-ML said.

Sunita Singh, spokesperson for JVM, said she would discuss these issues with her party for their inclusion in the poll manifesto.

Kanke MLA and BJP leader Jeetu Charan Ram said: “The government has tried to fulfil its commitment and has taken steps for the improvement in education and health care segments. Things are moving in the right direction and will take some time to show results. I’ll, however, place these demands before the party for its consideration.-Telegraph India

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