A female health worker donning a PPE kit (personal protective equipment) was found begging on the streets of Charampa in Odisha's Bhadrak city.
As per media reports, the frontline worker identified as Aswini Padhee has been protesting against the government for not providing rehabilitation to health workers like her who risked their lives when COVID-19 cases in the state witnessed a massive spike.
India Today reported that Padhee is one of the hundreds of auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) workers who have been staging a protest for the last two months at the state capital, Bhubaneswar. These contractual workers were hired by the state government when there was a dire need for health workers to curb the virus outbreak. The contract period ended with an improvement in the pandemic situation, however, the Naveen Patnaik-led government did not renew the contract due to shortage of budget, rendering many of them jobless.
"The state government appointed us to work as 'COVID Warriors' after the outbreak of coronavirus as the situation was very grim in the state. We risked our and our family members' lives by working closely with COVID patients. After working for around nine months, the government dismissed us without ensuring any rehabilitation," Padhee said.
"The state government must provide aid to protect the livelihoods of around 8,000 paramedics in the state. We will intensify our protest in the coming days by begging everywhere in the state if it does not fulfill our demand," Padhee warned.