DANTEWADA: In one of the worst Naxal-affected region of the country, health worker Ganga Shandilya has been providing healthcare services for the past 32 years.
Fondly known as "Dr Mausi" she is the lifeline for nearby villagers who throng to the Sameli sub-health centre where she has been posted for the past over three decades. She has been committed to her job since 1988, despite being afflicted with polio in one hand.
In fact, the polio affliction motivated her to take up the job and stay committed to it. Talking to ANI, Shandilya said," I was not given a dose of polio drops in childhood. I have to bear the pain of this. I was determined to become a health worker and go to the area where it is most needed and the same happened. I was posted in the Naxal-affected area, Sameli."
"There are various challenges one has to face in these areas. The challenges include- IEDs, the danger of spike holes, to cross the forest, drain, mountain and reach people by walking to far off villages," she said.
Working as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery, Shandilya, is a resident of Dhamtari area of Chhattisgarh.
"I arrived in this village by bullock cart. At that time there was nothing in the village. The health care centre was started in the hut. In 2007, Naxalites had demolished the building of the sub-health centre. My family has many times asked me to return home. But I did not agree. I receive love from the villagers and want to serve them," she added.
She is the sole hope for the primary healthcare facility to a population of about 4000 people living in and around Sameli.
He primary role is to ensure is the safe delivery of children of villagers. Even as the world celebrates International Women's Day she still has to walk for several hours, carrying her medical supplies and vaccines for providing medical treatment of villagers.
"Since childhood, I have been seeing 'Dr Mausi', she walks several kilometres each day to provide health facilities to us," Sameli's sarpanch Sanjay Kunjam told ANI.