Meghalaya farmers stop salaries of government health workers for not performing

In far off villages of Northeastern state of Meghalaya, access to even basic amenities of health is sometimes not available. Githogire in East Garo Hills district is one such village. The National Health Mission sponsored sub-health center building existed but wore a dilapidated look as there was no one attending to it. The building had apparently gone defunct and served no one’s purpose.

ANM nurses and other support staff drew their salaries sitting at home, but would never show up in the health center.

When this went on for way too long with incidence of deaths growing around the village, a group of farmers under the FARM Northeast project of Caritas India decided to voice their concern to the authorities. They wrote a complaint letter to the Deputy Commissioner of the state Health Department, requesting him not to disburse salaries of the staff unless they perform their duties. Remarkably, the health department responded to the appeal the villagers by holding up the salaries. This compelled the sub-health center staff to report for duty. The compound that once wore a sorry look was repaired and was given a facelift.

The center is now functional since January 2017.