The road less taken: Uttarkashi’s Covid Warriors

Shweta Rana and Sonam Rawat enroute to administer covid dose

Dateline Uttarakshi: Dedicated health workers like Shweta Rana and Sonam Rawat have proven to be true Covid warriors in every sense of the word. They, like many amongst them, risk their life to ensure that people in the interiors of Garhwal are vaccinated against the deadly virus which shows no mercy.

The fear of wild animals, incessant rainfall, landslides, submontane rivers and streams in spate, do not deter these determined women whose only mission is to vaccinate as many as they can.  Armed with their kits and working on war-footing to reach remotest of villages, ensure that those enroute are vaccinated on time.

Walking 10-18 kilometers at a stretch to reach villages such as Osla, Gangadh, Dhathmeer and Pavadi with a population of 1500 people, the door-to-door scheme of the health department has ensured that some three hundred and fifty people have been vaccinated in the process till date.

Administering an covid dose

For the likes of Shweta Rana an Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) who trekked fourteen hours to get to Taluka village, twice, to administer Covid vaccine doses, this is all part of her job as a health worker.

With biscuit and water to sustain them enroute as they trudge to their final destination Osla village, situated at a height of 2,800 meters, is not an easy job. Braving adverse weather, natural disasters and wild animals they arrive in  Osla at eight o’clock at night.  The additional ice they carry  in an ice box ensures that the precious cargo of vaccine doses remain at the desired 15 degrees. The set to work early morning, before making their way home.

But it is not the sheer distance they cover on foot but convincing hill-folks to get vaccinated on time that has proven to be an uphill task for this dedicated team. But they too leave no stone unturned to ensure that they vaccinate a few, if not all, and come back with more resilience and patience to convince the rest.