PANAJI: Mask on her face, Sulakshana Sawant along with her colleagues and friends went from house-to-house as part of the ongoing Covid-19 community survey, here earlier this week.
A chemistry teacher at the Shri Shantadurga Higher Secondary School in Bicholim sub-district, she, her friend Shubhangi Amonkar and other members of the survey team went about their business asking questions in the Desai Nagar, Sanquelim, the Chief Minister's Assembly constituency.
Sawant, who also heads the women's wing of the BJP in Goa, said she was not officially drafted into the survey team, but spent around three hours going house to house with the team, along with Shubhangi.
Some school and higher secondary teachers have been roped in for the survey by the government.
Nothing unusual here. But an unwittingly uploaded photograph on Facebook on Wednesday spilled the beans. Sulakshana Sawant is wife of Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
"No one was aware of my identity," she told IANS on Thursday.
"There are around 40 teachers in our higher secondary school. Only five were drafted for the survey duty. My name was not in the list. But when Shubhangi told me that she was on it, I decided to accopmany her on one of the days," Sulakshana said.
Reluctant to comment on her involvement in the field survey, she said her personal profile was secondary compared with the social effort orchestrated by the state government to tackle the coronavirus threat.
"For me duty towards the society comes first. There can't be a second thought when it comes to serving people. Unlike many other teachers, who wholeheartedly participated in the survey, I just did my bit as a volunteer. It is nothing extraordinary," Sulakshana said.
She claimed the mask was enough to disguise her idenitity, until she took it off to wash her face, when a press photographer recogised her.
"I requested him not to take a photograph, because I wasn't there as a part of a publicity effort. This would have remained under wraps had not a friend unwittingly uploaded a photo taken during the survey on Facebook," she said.
According to official figures, until Wednesday, survey covered more than 4.5 lakh people. It's aimed at collecting information related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The objtecive of the survey -- which has been opposed by the Congress -- according to the Chief Minister is to collect data to chart out a systematic plan to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in Goa.