Anganwadi Workers Swim And Trek To Reach Remote Odisha Villages

Malkangiri: The People of Nerudupali, a remote village in Odisha’s Malkangiri, connect with the outer world on every Monday by the visit of their “anganwadi didi” Hemalata Sisa.

The task turns out to be even tougher for the 28 year old anganwadi worker during the monsoon months as the river which borders the village gets bloated.

The anganwadi didi during monsoon Mondays, swims across the Maliguda river a tributary of the Godavari with empty pots tied to her waist and then trek along the dense forest for about 1-km to reach the village in order to carry out her duties. She expressed to be facing this situation for the last 10 years and has also gone hopeless of viewing any changes.

She also added that, though there is a road to reach a nearby village but it is an addition of 15 km, and they rather walk through the river during the other seasons of the year when the water remains at almost waist level.

Sisa is the anganwadi didi of village with a population of 400 people including five pregnant women, four new mothers and 27 pre-school kids to attend during this period of pandemic. She struggles badly during the rainy season days when the river is filled and she has to stay in the working village away from her daughters of age five and two avoiding swimming across the river.

Similar tragic situation is being faced by Pramila Pelmal, the anganwadi didi of Suapali village. She said that during this Covid-19 pandemic, when they have to regularly monitor the health of every villager overcoming the problem of connectivity. They travel into their respective villages physically as it is quite impossible to do it over phone.

She also added that, though the administration had started constructing a bridge but it got washed away during the monsoon and it is also very difficult to row boats in the high flowing waters and the people of the village also don’t own boats.

Sanjukta Sahoo, the co-ordinator of anganwadi workers of the block said that after multiple attempts have been made to seek the attention of the district administration, results are awaited.

Whereas, the Malkangiri District Collector Manish Agarwal claimed to have proposed construction of an 80 metres long bridge under the Setu scheme and are pursuing with the state Government for the same. He also added that the bridge should be ready shortly.

He also said that the district administration would soon meet the community workers and discuss their concerns.

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