Ghisarpari (Karnal): The family of Karishma, a 13-month-old girl and the first beneficiary of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, considers her lucky. Family members say they did not pay a single rupee when she was born on August 15.
Karishma and her mother, Mousami, were the first beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23, 2018, in Jharkhand’s Ranchi.
The family had to pay Rs 1 lakh to a private hospital when the first child, Aman, was born about three years ago.
“We borrowed Rs 1 lakh to pay a private hospital where my son Aman was born three years ago, and my husband is still repaying this debt. Had they [the government] introduced the scheme three years ago, our life would have been different today,” Mousami said.
Soon after Karishma’s birth, she and her mother hit the headlines as Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared them the first beneficiaries of the scheme, and the hospital reimbursed Rs 9,000 it charged the family for Karshima’s birth.
Karishma is also called Ayush, a name that draws inspiration from the scheme.
Amit Kumar, Karishma’s father and a daily wager, says not everything was smooth. The family faced problems when Karishma took ill this April as private hospitals in their town, Indri, did not provide treatment under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Government hospitals and empanelled private hospitals provide facilities under the scheme.
According to him, the scheme though has provided big help to the poor. He requests the government to ensure that the Ayushman Bharat card is accepted at all hospitals in small towns.
Family members say three-year-old son Aman is now the only member in the family left without a card. “We don’t know why he did not get the card...all other family members were eligible for this scheme,” says Mousami.
But Mousami is happy with this scheme. “...we are still struggling to provide better life to our children, but we need not to worry about the medical emergencies.”