Keonjhar: While the National Rural Health Mission is under scrutiny in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha seems to have a success story. Udasi Sahu, 43, in Keonjhar district is helping provide healthcare to a population of 5,000.
For Guramani Mahanta, Udasi Sahu is no less than a saviour. The 27-year-old mother-to-be was worried when the doctors advised her to undergo a caesarean operation, which is something she couldn't afford. Her last hope was the community health centre in Childa in Odisha's Keojhar district. That's where she met Udasi, the auxiliary nurse midwife in charge of the centre. Udasi assisted Guramani in a normal delivery as she gave birth to a healthy child. Udasi has supervised about 60 such deliveries every month for the last five years. Her record speaks for itself with not a single case of maternal mortality.
"I had given up all hope of saving my baby and myself. But it was all due to Udasi Didi that we are alive. She took such good care of me like my mother. She is no less than God for me," Guramani said.
Udasi provides healthcare to a population of 5,000. Her job that entails walking miles through forests in heat, dust and rain. It's not just the elements, Udasi has to brave the threat posed by the Naxals as well.
"When I walk through the forests, I feel scared of Naxal attacks. But after I provide healthcare to the women in these interior areas the amount of satisfaction I get is unmatched. That motivates me to work tirelessly in spite of all odds," Udasi said.
For her extraordinary contributions, Udasi was recently conferred the prestigious National Florence Nightingale Award by the President of India. The award is a tribute to the 8 lakh-strong team of Accredited Social Health Activists ASHA workers and ANMs - the pulse of National Rural Health Mission.
Dr Antaryami Dash, DPC, UNICEF, said, "In most of the health index, rural India is showing remarkable results after the implementation of the NRHM. Most of the credit for this success goes to these health workers like Udasi Sahu who have given quality healthcare to the women in interior rural pockets."
Udasi is an inspiration to one and all. Her children too are following in her footsteps.
It's the hard work and dedication of people like Udasi Sahu at the grass root level that gives one reasons to believe that several important government programmes like the National Rural Health Mission in spite of all its odds and controversies is still very much achievable.