Experiences of Frontline Workers in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research
The Accountability Initiative conducted a research study examining the evolving role and experiences of Frontline Workers (FLWs) during and after the nation-wide lockdown in 2020. The findings provide insights into how FLWs shouldered additional responsibilities, how they have adapted to the disruption of routine health and nutrition related services, and how they have initiated creative responses to help the system adapt to the ‘new normal’.
This study was conducted through a research grant provided by Azim Premji University, as a part of their COVID-19 Research Funding Programme 2020.
-FLWs had to simultaneously work on COVID duties along with their earlier non-COVID work, and this continued after the lockdown as well.
-FLWs felt that they had been adequately trained or provided information on COVID-19 related activities. However, some gaps in training emerged.
- 92 per cent received at least one resource in Rajasthan, and 100 per cent received at least one resource in Himachal Pradesh, with masks, sanitisers, and gloves being the most widely received resources.
- Insights from qualitative interviews revealed intrinsic motivators for some FLWs, such as feeling a sense of duty to help their communities during the pandemic, a sense of pride in having the knowledge to help community members, and even a sense of patriotic pride and a desire to serve the community.
- Only 11 per cent of FLWs reported facing challenges with supervision and support. This figure was higher in Himachal Pradesh (17 per cent) compared to Rajasthan (7 per cent).
- A majority of FLWs (70 per cent) faced community challenges. The major challenges were a lack of compliance (80 per cent), a lack of trust (57 per cent), and beneficiaries not wanting AWC-related contact (32 per cent).
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