A 300 km distance separates her janambhoomi (place of birth) from ‘karambhoomi’ (place of work). Babli Rani from Bhaderwah, Doda, has been working in Kashmir for 11 years as a teacher. However, that changed last year when she signed up as a health counsellor after winning her fight against Covid.
“Since schools were shut due to Covid and reduced activity, I decided to work as a health functionary days after I had turned negative," Rani told News18. Mother of two, Rani is posted in Ganderbal for the last 11 years and has worked in many schools. Her last posting before she began working as a health worker was in a government school at Rabitar.
Given her active nature, she said it took her no time to enrol herself as a health surveyor since the idea of working as a health worker first crossed her mind. While she began her new role as a surveillance team member, her passion for learning led officials to train her in Covid sampling collection and data processing.
“I was moving from one village to another in Wakoora block carrying out samples of people who contracted the virus," she said. “I was tasked to take samples, maintain data of covid positives and conduct their contact tracing. I have been doing this for months," she added.
Rani said since she began her covid training, she has become an expert in sample collection. She holds a record of collecting over 2000 RAT and RT-PCR samples.
“During one sampling session, I tested a nine-month baby and on another trip, 40 villagers were found infected with the virus," she recalled. “The officials were pleased with my work and said without these findings, the infections would have spread deeper into the community."
Disregarding risk to her life, Rani said discovered a social worker inside her. Every morning, she carries out awareness drives against the disease. Months into the assignment, she continued to carry on without fail as an important surveillance team member.
Rani said that she is enjoying the work because spending time in the service of common people gives her peace of mind.
Her commitment to the cause has, however, stopped her from visiting her family. “I was home once during the last winter vacation but did not get time to see the kids," she said.
During her village trips, she counsels villagers to follow all covid advisories and measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Stating that prevention is the only way to safeguard ourselves from Covid-19, Rani is glad she got a role to come to the aid of the people. “I am at peace these days."