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Odisha’s Covid worker Matilda Kullu stars in Forbes India’s W-Power list

ASHA worker Matilda Kullu figures in the Forbes India’s W-Power 2021 list for her selfless and undaunted efforts in serving the people especially during the two waves of Covid-19 pandemic

For her selfless and undaunted efforts in serving the people especially during the two waves of Covid-19 pandemic, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker, Matilda Kullu of Odisha has been recognised. She figures in the Forbes India’s W-Power 2021 list.

Yet, the 45-year-old health worker remains untouched by all this as she continues to go about her work – participating in programmes for vaccination, doorstep check-up of new born babies, sector meeting and other duties.

Kullu has been playing multiple roles – of a health worker, motivator and counsellor — in the region of Gargadbahal and villages nearby, all of which come under Bargaon block of Sundargarh district, Odisha since 2005.

Congratulating her, the State Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik in his tweet wrote: ”Congratulate Matilda Kullu, ASHA worker from Baragaon Tehsil of #Sundargarh District on being named in @ForbesIndia W-Power 2021 list. She represents thousands of dedicated #COVIDWarriors who are at forefront to save precious lives.”

Even though Kullu was infected by the virus in the second wave of the pandemic, she promptly resumed her duty and work after 15 days with any hesitation and continued to put in extra hours of work.

Talking to the New Indian Express she said: “When the country shut down after the Covid outbreak and people remained indoors, it became our duty to take people with symptoms for Covid test, ensure that they take medicines and isolate themselves. Our primary responsibility now is to vaccinate all.”

She also made them take to medical care and not resort to traditional cures like black magic and sorcery. “It was only possible through several years of awareness camps about the ills of black magic. People are less superstitious now but it will take some years more to root out the practice,” she said,

Apart from creating awareness about health services, ASHA workers also render medical care to pregnant and nursing women, carry out immunisation, promote sanitation and hygiene, conduct surveys and administer vaccines and polio drops, etc.

Describing ASHA workers as the backbone of rural healthcare, the Sundargarh Chief District Medical Officer Dr SK Mishra said that Kullu is an inspiration for all of them.