When a Kashmir based teacher tested positive for COVID-19, reality hit her hard. And that’s when she decided to work as a health counsellor and help the localities.
Babli Rani, originally from Bhaderwah, Doda, has been working in Kashmir for 11 years as a teacher. Things were fine until the virus caught her — and when she tested negative, she signed up as a health counsellor to do her bit.
“Since schools were shut due to COVID-19 and reduced activity, I decided to work as a health functionary days after I had turned negative,” Babli said in an interview. “I was moving from one village to another in Wakoora block carrying out samples of people who contracted the virus. I was tasked to take samples, maintain data of COVID-19 positives and conduct their contact tracing. I have been doing this for months.”
Rani has been posted in Ganderbal for 11 years and has worked in several schools — her last posting was in a government school at Rabitar, after which she started working as a health worker. She was trained in COVID-19 sampling collection, data processing and other basics of a surveillance team member.
As of this writing, she has collected over 2000 RAT and RT-PCR samples and has become an expert in sample collection.
The idea to take up this role was to ensure that none of the COVID-19 patients transmits the virus to another person, and the district doesn’t witness any rise in cases.
“During one sampling session, I tested a nine-month baby, and on another trip, 40 villagers were found infected with the virus. The officials were pleased with my work and said without these findings; the infections would have spread deeper into the community,” she added.
Discovering herself while working as a health worker
Her typical morning starts with beginning the awareness drive against the disease. Her village trip includes some counselling session where she shares all COVID-19 advisories and measures that can help in limiting the virus spread.
This job, Rani believes, helped her in discovering the social worker inside her. She enjoys her job as working for common people gives her peace of mind. It’s been a few months since she started working, and she has proved herself as an important member of the surveillance team.
“I was home once during the last winter vacation but did not get time to see the kids,” Rani, mother of two, shared how her work has restricted her from visiting her family.
However, prevention and precaution are the only ways to protect her loved ones, she says and is happy with helping people around her.
“I am at peace these days,” Rani ends with a high spirit, and she doesn’t intend to stop her work until the pandemic ends!
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