UDUPI: A woman auto rickshaw driver from Pernankila in Udupi who doubles as an ASHA worker helped a pregnant woman who was undergoing labour pain on Thursday by offering a free ride to ferry her to the nearest hospital. Rajeevi in the wee hours on Thursday got a call from Srilatha in Pernankila who said that she was having labor pain and that she may need immediate hospitalization.
Pernankila village is located about 18 km away from Udupi city and it lacks basic facilities like good roads and public transport system.
Rajeevi, who so far has offered free rides to about 15 pregnant women in the past in cases of emergency, in the blink of an eye wore her uniform and took Srilatha to the Government of Karnataka Koosamma Shambhu Shetty Memorial Haji Abdullah Mother and Child Hospital, Udupi in her auto rickshaw.
Srilatha delivered a baby girl on Thursday at around 12 pm. Family members of Srilatha thanking Rajeevi profusely said that Rajeevi came as a goddess in disguise to save the lives of two - mother's and the child's in the time of distress.
Rajeevi told The New Indian Express that she learnt to drive an auto rickshaw 20 years ago with the help of her husband who died five years ago due to brain hemorrhage.
"Though I am not rich, I think it is my duty to help women who are in need of it. My son is searching for a job after his education at Industrial Training Institute and my daughter did her nursing and is now settled in Mumbai after her marriage. So, part of what I earn, I like to spend it on social work like helping the pregnant women," she said.
Rajeevi is an ASHA worker in the morning and drives her auto rickshaw from the afternoon till evening in Pernankila area.
"The mother and child mortality should be declined and that is why I like to work as an ASHA," she said. Rajeevi has also put up a poster on her auto rickshaw through which she has been creating awareness among people about the COVID-19 and how to stay protected against it.
Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu in a twitter post had appreciated the noble work of ASHA health worker and thanked Rajeevi for her great service.