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'No One Listens to Our Demands'

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Q: On Take Home Ration and Hot Cooked Meals - are you still continuing to give ration packets and dry food to households?

Lady Supervisor: We have not received any money for nutrition in the office. It is being given to the beneficiaries via Direct Benefit Transfers.

Q: Were you involved in tracking and tracing of returnee migrants? What were your main tasks?

LS: We were given a software using which we had to provide information on quaranting and home quarantined migrants, among other things. Our tasks included uploading the Aadhar and bank account details of the migrants.

We were also assigned duties in the quarantine centres.

We have received 100 masks from the Block Development Office that we have to sell in our area or the places that we visit. The money that we get from this will be submitted to the BDO.

Q: Have routine activities around immunisation, Antenatal care, etc. commenced?

LS: Yes, routine activities around immunisation have begun. People are instructed to wear masks and maintain social distancing when they come.

Q: What instructions have you received regarding work for the months of April, May and June?

LS: For the last four months, we have been instructed to do social activities like Annaprashan and Godbharais in the house of the beneficiaries and not the Anganwadi Centre, and ensuring that crowding is avoided. We had to visit the households of the beneficiaries for the Prime Minister Janani Suraksha Yojana and Chief Minister Kanya Yojana.

Migrants were also informed about these schemes. We also had to provide information about the spread of the virus.

Q: What do you need to do your job better? Is there anything that you are proud of in your work?

LS: It would have been good if we got some incentive amount or motivation from our seniors. But we are just assigned work, and then, how we are doing it does not matter to anyone! We try to finish all our work assigned by higher officials on time.

I have been selling masks given by the BDO so that more and more people use masks. We have to sell two masks for Rs. 50 (less than a dollar). People who have money are the only ones able to buy it.

However, I feel proud to do any work given by the government!

Q. Have you asked for incentives?

LS: We were told by the BDO that additional monetary incentive will be given only to those whose duties are in the quarantine centres. He later said that it will be given to people who do extra duty on Sunday. But no one got anything.

What is the use of demanding? No one listens to our demands anyway. A lockdown has been again enforced for a week. No buses or autos will operate, but we have to continue working in all circumstances.

Q. Have you received any training for COVID-19 related work?

LS: We received a district-level training on aspects such as COVID-19 symptoms, taking suspected patients to the hospital, and protecting ourselves.

This interview was conducted with a Lady Supervisor in Nalanda, Bihar in Hindi on 11 July 2020, and has been translated.

Source: Department of WCD & MS, Govt. of Odisha

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