*Image credit thenationalnews.com

As the world celebrates International Women's day during the Covid-19 pandemic, women in the Jharkhand have come to the fore to save the lives of many from the virus after striking a balance between work and their personal lives at home.

Many of these women healthcare and frontline workers braved the deadly virus and made many sacrifices to help those who are in need.

Sharing her experience with TOI, Ramrekha Rai (55), a senior nurse and in-charge of the Covid-19 ward at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims), Ranchi said she has been attending to Covid patients since the first patient arrived at the trauma centre of the hospital on March 31 last year.

She said, "It has been a hell of a journey for me shuttling between the hospital ward and attending domestic chores at home.

There were instances where I couldn’t attend to my kids as I used to reach home late in the night and had to come to the hospital early as some VIP patients were getting admitted and my superiors wanted me to be present. I haven’t been able to celebrate any festival with my family in the past year.

Another woman health worker, Jiren S Kandulna, is the manager of Ranchi district hospital has shown excellent commitment towards her work during the pandemic. “The difficult phase has passed and now we are a bit relaxed as we manage the vaccination programme. I come from Khunti and live in a rented accommodation in Ranchi and have spent an average of 12 hours per day in the hospital since the outbreak," she said.

Kandulna added, "The first challenge was handling our own healthcare workers who were getting infected while attending pregnant women who called us at odd hours like 3 am or 4 am. I remember the day in July last year when my father was sick and I haven't visited him for over five months. So, I left the city around 4 am and after attending to him in Khunti, I returned to the hospital around 8 am as I had to be at work."

Like Rai and Kandulna, Dr Varsha Kumari, a microbiologist at the Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) had to take risks while juggling between work and family chores. Dr Kumari was the nodal officer for sample collection as well as in-charge of the Covid-19 ward at BGH. 

She said, "It was exhausting for me physically and mentally as I have two small kids aged nine and 11 and I could not attend to them at all. I have long working hours like personally monitoring sample collection, patient admission and their treatment at the Covid-19 ward apart from training the staff related to the virus. After these works, I cannot take care of my children as I pose an infection risk to them."

( Times of India, March 8, 2021)

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