Kerala Positive: Women at top of fighting Coronavirus


Women all over the globe are in the forefront in fighting Coronavirus and the world hailed the spirit and strength of several women political leaders in Iceland, Germany and New Zealand. Many others like artists, writers and other professionals also did their bit at the time of coronavirus. Indian flash looks at some of personalities and organisations from Kerala that is fighting the deadly coronavirus.

When talking of the fight against Coronavirus in Kerala, it all starts from one woman. And it is none other than Health Minister K K Shylaja. Among all the State Health Ministers, Shylaja is a  rockstar, who is hailed by people from every walk of life for her tremendous work.

It was in Kerala that Coronavirus was first detected in India. From the first case itself, she has been working hard in a spirited manner. Her experiences in handling Nippah Virushad have her added advantage in the fight against the coronavirus.

A first time minister, the 63 year old Left Leader’s reasoning and understanding the need of scientific temper has led the state to arrest the spread of the virus. From day one of coronavirus breakout was reported from China, Shylaja sprung into action. Every day, the minister sits with the core team handling the crisis. In the discussions, she evaluates the crisis threadbare.

Most of the days, she sits in her office at the secretariat till 10 30 and sometimes it can even go far as 1230 or even more. By the time she reaches her official residence, she might have worked more as 19 to 20 hours.

Moreover, the Directorate of Health Services is headed by Sarita L. All district headquarters and officials have been put on alert and are available 24 hours on duty. Apart from Satrita, the Directorate of Medical Education is under Dr Ramla Beevi.

When talking of the service of health workers, no one can ever forget the inspirational service of the women nurses. Some of them have been working for long hours and even staying in the hospitals; all these can never be left out.

The district collectors of Wayanad and Alappuzha also get mention at the time of Coronavirus. Soon after the outbreak of coronavirus, Wayanad collector Dr. Adeela Abdulla, formed ‘Golden 5’ teams in all the wards. The team comprised of an Asha worker, an anganwadi worker, Kudumbashree ADS member, ward member and health worker. The team visited the houses where people were quarantined and provided all help. Even much before the first case was reported from the district, helpdesks were instituted. They worked round the clock. A tribal district, the district administration under Adeela Abdulla, ensured that the tribals were provided all necessary things. In Alappuzha, collector M Anjana took the lead and the district was fully prepared to tackle the virus.  She had even taken the lead in converting house boats into quarantine facilities.

When talking of women organisations, the role of Kudumbasree tops all. About 50 lakh women from Kudumbasree units prepared food through 1300 community kitchens. Apart from this, they are also engaged in making masks and sanitisers. They are also running a gender helpdesk named Snehitha’ that provides all support to survivors of violence against women.

Another inspiring story about woman leadership is from Alappuzha. Women in Alappuzha started a Floating Market, which crisscross through the lakes selling all essential things. Then there are numerous women and girls working behind the covid 19 control room. Some of the women and girls have volunteered to do the work here.


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