Shimla, Jan 12 : In probably the first instance of its kind in the country, a woman health worker from Himachal Pradesh has figured on a World Health Organisation's calendar.
Geeta Verma's picture while riding a motorcycle and carrying a box of vaccines against measles and rubella has been put on the front page of the 2018 WHO calendar, for which she earned praise from Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
He congratulated Verma -- hailing from Sapnot village in Karsog tehsil of Mandi district -- and said it was a matter of pride for the hill state that a woman health worker had been featured in a WHO publication.
Deployed at the Shakardehra health sub-centre in Jhanjeli block in Mandi district, Verma undertook the campaign to inoculate children living in remote areas of the district.
An official statement quoting the Chief Minister said that all government employees should show such commitment towards their jobs and impulse for serving the people with dedication.
"She has made our state proud," Thakur added.
Carrying out the vaccination campaign is a backbreaking task in tiny hamlets located on high mountain passes in Himachal.
Many villages in Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur, Shimla, Kangra and Sirmaur districts are located in the interiors where workers of 'aanganwadi' and ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) have to trudge across miles of rugged, cold, and inhospitable terrain to reach target populations.
Officials involved in the vaccination campaigns say the staff has to traverse distances ranging from 10 to 25 km on foot, or some times even on horseback, from the roadhead to reach some of these villages.