MADIKERI: BM Pushpavathi, an Anganwadi teacher from rural Kodagu, has donned multiple hats during the pandemic. Her job as school teacher might have taken a backseat, but her responsibilities have trebled, as she shuffles her roles as healthcare worker, inspector, motivator and nurse.
“Anganwadis across the district shut their doors on March 14 last year. Since then, we are on the field, fighting the pandemic,” said Pushpavathi.
She is from Bettageri village in Madikeri taluk, and has so far visited 120 houses in the area to check on residents who have tested Covid-19 positive.
“I, alongwith an ASHA worker and healthcare assistant, visit houses of patients in my area and ensure that they stay indoors for 14 days. We also ensure that no one enters containment zones. During the first wave of the pandemic, we faced a lot of hostility as our visit exposed residents who had tested positive. But we pushed through and created awareness among people to fight the infection,” she explained.
Her responsibility as Anganwadi worker also has to be fulfilled, and she follows up on the health of pregnant women and toddlers in her area.
“Even during the pandemic, we did not shirk our responsibilities,” she said proudly.
“My job demands that I check the health of pregnant women and children aged 0-6 years. We have to ensure that pregnant women follow an ideal diet, and after delivery, we follow up on how they breastfeed babies. We create awareness on health.”
With online classes due to start soon for toddlers, she has kept ready materials that are to be shared with parents.
“I am in charge of nearly 260 families in Bettageri area and our team walks up to estates to keep track of residents’ health. However, not many know that Anganawadi teachers are involved in fighting Covid, and that sometimes makes me sad,” she said.
And all this warrior has got until now from the panchayat is free masks, and no special benefits.