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Ayushman Bharat: NHA, ITC e-Choupal join hands to boost rural healthcare, help farmers

Rajeev Kumar
nha itc e chaupal

Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY: Millions of farmers in rural areas are going to benefit with an MoU signed between National Health Authority (NHA), nodal agency for Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY,  and ITC e-Choupal on Tuesday. The partnership will enable farmers across the country to avail benefits under the central government’s flagship healthcare scheme, NHA said today. Through this collaboration, NHA and ITC e-Choupal will spread awareness about AB PM-JAY scheme and conduct outreach, by organising beneficiary verification camps and door-to-door awareness and training activities, NHA said in a statement today.

The NHA said that the two organisations have come together to spread the awareness about the AB-PMJAY to help eligible farmers have a better understanding of the scheme and seek hospital treatment for serious illnesses through the scheme. Through this partnership, millions of farmers would be able to access the information via 6,000 e-choupals.

E-choupal, which means "village meeting place", will constitute a network of rural kiosks, providing a number of information and communication-related services for rural population.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr. Indu Bhushan said, "This partnership between National Health Authority and ITC e-Choupal, will empower millions of citizens in rural India and Indian farmers with digital interventions."

"The collaboration focuses on providing secondary and tertiary treatment for a range of serious illnesses such as cancer, heart ailments, etc to farmers and their families in rural areas. It will also demonstrate how such innovative models can reach the remotest corners of the country," he added.

Anil K. Rajput, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, ITC, said, "The partnership with the National Health Authority will help to improve the health scenario in rural India. E-chaupal will empower farmers in the hinterland by providing necessary information through an integrated network. Signing of MoU will help pave the way to quality curative care for farmers and all citizens outside urban centres."

As part of the MoU, ITC will conduct awareness camps through 400 Village Health Champions (VHCs) covering over 800 villages across 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on a pilot basis. These VHCs will make women and adolescents aware of the programme through group meetings and door-to-door connect.

The ITC will also promote AB PM-JAY through 23 Choupal Saagars and 18 fuel stations. NHA will provide training modules and kit to train VHCs and Choupal Sanchalaks who will, in turn, raise awareness about the scheme among farmers and their families.

ITC e-Choupal is a network of 4 million farmers in over 35,000 villages across 10 states (Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) in the country.

Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is the flagship scheme of Government of India that provides a cover of up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries).

PM-JAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service. Under this scheme, there are 1578 health benefit packages with defined rates. As many as 21,469 hospitals and health care providers have been empanelled across the country to provide healthcare services as per these packages.