This Woman Rows 18km Across The Narmada River To Help Tribal Children And Pregnant Women. She Is An Inspiration
Here’s the thing, even though the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our lives and left us feeling anxious about everything, there is a silver lining here. Have you observed how people are just ready to go out of their way to help those who are living on the fringes of society during these turbulent times? From everything Sonu Sood did to help the migrant workers to social media coming to save Baba ka dhaba, the coronavirus has made us more empathetic towards others. However, today we are talking about a woman who crosses the Narmada river, every day, to help out children and expecting mothers in all the tribal hamlets. She should also be recognised as a coronavirus warrior.
27-year-old Relu Vasave is an Anganwadi worker. She has grown up watching the Narmada river flow by her village all her life, learning how to swim and row a boat. So when the coronavirus prevented a group of tribals from coming to her Anganwadi to collect medical checkups and nutritious food, she decided to go to them. The catch here, however, is that due to poor road access in those regions, the only way to reach these hamlets is by rowing a boat across the Narmada river. The entire trip, to and fro, is about 18 km. But that factor didn’t seem to crush Relu’s spirit.
She borrowed a small boat from a local fisherman and set out to the tribal hamlets- Aligat and Dadar. She has been rowing the boat across the Narmada five days a week since April so that that the 25 newborn and malnourished children, and seven pregnant women don’t lose out of proper care, nutrition and medical attention because of the pandemic.
Also Read: #Inspiration: Basanti Behan Is A Powerful Woman Who Has Been Working To Stop Child Marriages And Has Single-Handedly Kept A River Flowing. We Need More People Like Her
#ICYMI | Taking on the mighty Narmada river is certainly not for the faint-hearted this anganwadi worker, has seen the river flow by her village all her life.https://t.co/N7wJBuqbRL
— Pune Mirror (@ThePuneMirror) November 15, 2020
At the Anganwadi, Relu’s job is to care for newborn children, children under six years of age and pregnant women. She checks their weight and hands them supplies that are provided by the government. After the lockdown was imposed in March, it became difficult for the tribals from these hamlet’s to row their boat and reach the Aganwadi.
Relu, who is a mother of two herself, told TOI, “Usually, the children and pregnant women visit our centre boat with their families to collect food. But they have stopped visiting out of fear of the virus.” Further adding, “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.”
Relu’s day is hectic, to say the least. She reaches the Anganwadi at around 7:30 am and works there till noon. Then, after lunch, she sets off in her boat to reach these hamlets and returns only very late in the evening. After the boat ride, she has to trek up hilly terrains to reach the hamlets. Her efforts were recognized and lauded by CM Udhav Thackrey.
She is really an inspiration to us all.
- tribal woman
- woman rows across the Narmada to help tribals
- Narmada river