To know the ground reality of how COVID is affecting the lives of people and the health workers, we visited a few panchayats and other places to interact with health workers.
A young lady sat in a dim place with a shelf of medicines behind her. Her small table was covered with her bag and other papers. She stared at us as we entered the compound.
"Who are you?" she enquired.
We're from Azim Premji Foundation. We replied and shared why we've come from. Discussing the COVID stories, she shared how she's new to the place Gol sub center. "I'm on deputation. I work at village called Yevdi, two kilometres away from here. Do you have to go there as well?" she asked.
"Yeah may be. We were listening to her and checking the possibility. Before we could decide, she advised, the village is full of dogs. They creep silently and bite you. I always carry a stick with me. You can instead call the sister there rather than visiting the place. She mentioned.
To know her story, I thought, we should share our story. "I'm from Hyderabad. She's from Delhi. We thought, we'll get a chance to interact with locals also, that's the reason we're here."
Listening to us, she mentioned her story. Her mother is LHO at Jawal. A month ago, she joined the government service as CHO. Her first job. "I'd get my first salary in a few days. I'm excited." she shared.
"What's your name?" my colleague asked. "Grethel." She answered. All of us with our masks, I could see her eye brows and eyes and by the voice and the tone, I could sense, she's from Kerala. "I'm from Kerela. Kottayam and Kollam is where I hail from but, I'm local to this place. Proper Marwari. She answered.
What's Grethel, we asked. If you know the story of Hansel and Gretel, that's where it came from. She replied.
And sharing about her name, she shared more of herself. My dad added h in it and it's Grethel. I tell my dad why he hadn't named me Cinderella. I also would have taken a shoe searched for my prince.
Grethel, glad to find some one to talk to, she shared her stories. Apna sundar sundar naam bataao. She asked us. "I'm Abhinay. She's Geetika." We replied. Listening to us, she asked. Abhinay karthe ho. I was smiling and nodding, while she had another story to share. I do a lot of drama. I ace the role of a wife who has to cry in front of husband dead body. My husbands kept changing but the role remained the same. I'm very good at wife role.
Gretel went on and her voice sounded happy. She shared a few more phone numbers to contact for our work. Happy that you came, if not, I'd sit alone here and look no one has come. If they visit also, it's for hygenic things, she explained.
I'm happy, we could cheer up and give a company to her for a while. Had a great time meeting you Grethel with h in it.