NRC bogey hits health surveys, patients refuse details

NRC bogey hits health surveys, patients refuse details

Road block

Asha workers say people are refusing to provide them details, fearing they will be misused.

The controversy surrounding the National Register of Citizens (NRC) seems to have impacted the health sector as well with many families refusing to divulge details to Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha workers).

As Asha workers reach out to households, they are expected to gather data about the names of the family members, their proof of residence and Aadhaar cards.

When DH spoke to Asha workers on the sidelines of their protest on Friday, they said that for a month now, residents have been refusing to provide them details fearing they would be misused.

Manjula, an Asha worker from Mysuru said the department of health and family welfare had recently asked them to gather data for a survey on non-communicable diseases. However, locals have been refusing to provide details.

“When we visit households, some of them would have gone out to protest against the CAA and NRC. The others in the family refuse to talk. They tell us there is no point in waiting and ask us to leave as they would not share details,” said Manjula.

Vandana, another Asha worker said she encountered a similar problem. “When we ask for Aadhaar cards, they refuse to share it saying it could be used for NRC,” she said.

Even as they have informed higher-ups about it, no solution has emerged, they explained.

Sumaya, another Asha worker said they are expected to get Aadhaar data for tuberculosis and non-communicable disease programmes. However, locals have been refusing to share details.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner, department of health said it was only for schemes where the government has been paying patients for ailments that Aadhaar is required. However, he said that he would look into the issue.

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