Maharashtra: Anganwadi staffer rows 18 km every day to tend to pregnant women, newborns in villages

Updated: 16 November, 2020 07:32 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Relu told that usually the families and children travel to the anganwadi by boat to collect food but ever since the lockdown was announced they stopped visiting out of fear.

Representational Image
Representational Image

A 27-year-old female staff of anganwadi rows 18 kms daily along the Narmada to look after tribal babies and pregnant women of 2 Maharashtra hamlets after the fear of COVID-19 kept the group of tribals from coming to her.

Relu Vasave borrowed a boat from a local fisherman and started visiting the hamlets of Aligat and Dadar since April so that 25 newborn babies and 7 pregnant women do not miss out on proper medical care and nutrition.

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Relu’s work as an anganwadi member is to keep a check on the weight, health, and growth of children under 6 years of age and expecting moms. After the lockdown was announced tribal groups from two hamlets across the Narmada backwaters stopped coming to the angawadi.

As per a report on Mumbai Mirror, Relu told that usually the families and children travel to the anganwadi by boat to collect food but ever since the lockdown was announced they stopped visiting out of fear.

Relu, who has grown up by the banks of Narmada is adept in swimming and boat rowing. After spending the morning at her anganwadi that is located in the remote tribal village Chimalkhadi in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, she sets sail alone in the afternoon with food supplements, baby weighing machine, etc. Sometimes her relative Sangita accompanies her.

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“It is not easy to row every day. My hands ache by the time I’m back home in the evening. But that doesn’t worry me. It’s important that the babies and the expecting mothers eat nutritious food. I will visit these hamlets till things improve on the Covid front,” she said.

The tribals are overwhelmed by Relu’s effort and depend on her greatly. The word of Relu’s extraordinary work reached CM’s office additional chief executive office of the Nandurbar zilla parishad travelled to her village to personally praise her on the CM’s behalf.

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First Published: 16 November, 2020 07:31 IST

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