OdishaPlus Bureau

During COVID-19 pandemic many frontline workers had served the country selflessly. One of them is Matilda Kullu, a 45-year-old ASHA worker of Gargadbahal village from Bargaon block, Sundargarh district. Since 15 years Matilda is working as an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) Worker and got featured in the ‘Forbes India W-Power 2021’ list along with bigwigs like Head of Amazon Prime Video Aparna Purohit and Banker Arundhati Bhattacharya.

Expressing her happiness Matilda says, “I never thought my name would ever be included in such a prestigious list like Forbes. Such praise to my work at the national level is the success of all Matilda Kullu: ASHA Worker from Odisha shares space with biggies on ‘Forbes India W-Power 2021’”

When the National Rural Health Mission was launched in 2005, Matilda was hired as an ASHA worker. After finishing all household works Matilda heads out to visit the doorsteps of COVID affected patients by cycle. She monitors the health of pregnant women and spreads awareness among people for COVID-19. She has dedicated herself to serve people.

“ASHA didi came to my doorsteps in regular intervals for monitoring my health. She advised me to eat and take medicines properly. I am delighted that she got this recognition”- Pratima Lakra, a women from Gargadbahal village.

Along with checking the pregnant women and new mothers, she also tests Malaria, antenatal/postnatal check-ups, immunisation, gives advises to the women on hygiene and contraception etc. Matilda has a key role in removing superstition from the minds of people and sensitizing the people about medical treatment in tribal dominated Gargadbahal village.

“In tribal area like Sundargarh, most of the people believe in superstition. For the past 15 years my mother has been trying to reach out to people, explain them about the medical treatment and help people to overcome the superstition. I am so proud of”, says Manisha Kullu, daughter of Matilda Kullu.

“When I explained people about the medical treatment and its benefits, they started going hospital and also got cured from the diseases. Also the villagers supported me a lot which helped to prevent COVID from the village”, shares an excited Matilda.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also praised Kullu for her dedication and achievement. “Congratulate Matilda Kullu, ASHA worker from Baragaon Tehsil of Sundargarh District on being named in ‘Forbes India W-Power 2021’ list. She represents thousands of dedicated COVID Warriors who are at forefront to save precious lives”, he tweeted.

“Money can never get you the satisfaction which you gain by serving others. People’s blessings take me to this level today. The villagers, me and my family are so happy by getting this recognition”, Matilda concluded.