It’s been over six months that the world has been coping with a global pandemic. And if these past 100 days of nation-wide lockdown have taught me anything, it’s that education is extremely important. People who are well-educated understood the gravity of the crisis in time and adopted a social-distanced living, not just for their own good but the greater good. An educated person knows the right from wrong and preaches it too. They don’t let religious sentiments get in the matters of life or death.
Imagine if all of our decision-makers, policy-makers, and politicians were educated, how progressive India would be today.
Kerala’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak has been praised on only in India, but also on an international level. This is all thanks to their Health Minister KK Shailaja, who is not only educated, but was also a former educator!
Recently, KK Shailaja was honoured by the United Nations (UN) among other world leaders for her contributions in the fight against COVID-19. June 23 marked United Nations Public Service Day where they honoured public servants on the frontline and their role during the pandemic at the local and national level. The science teacher-turned-politician’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus in the state clearly earned global recognition and we couldn’t be more proud of her.
The function was held virtually on UN Web TV and included a panel discussion on the topic ‘On The Frontlines: Public Servants And The COVID-19 Pandemic’ featuring six honourees from Kerala, Korea, the USA, WHO, and other organisations. There was also a keynote address by the President of Ethiopia and Director-General of the WHO.
It was a great feeling to hear Shailaja being introduced as “Corona slayer” by the moderator, a term The Guardian used in one of their publishings referring to the health minister. The British daily newspaper made the term famous and how. She was also lauded for low mortality rates in the state due to early intervention by the authorities. Kerala was the first state in India to confirm a positive case on January 27 and dove right in action to prevent the spread.
Participated in a panel discussion of @UN on the UN Public Service Day. It was an honour to be a part of a panel that included the UN Secretary-general, Director General of @WHO (@DrTedros) & many others. We had a great conversation on the ongoing efforts against #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/h2N4xEZROk
— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) June 24, 2020
Not just coronavirus, Shailaja also tackled the Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala in 2018. In her speech at the panel, she spoke about how the experience containing Nipah in 2018 and Kerala floods helped the state to prepare and fight COVID-19 in the initial stage itself.
Fondly called Shailaja teacher, she had said in a statement once, “Things can still go haywire anytime if we are not alert, but at the same time, life has to go on, if not, there will be other issues. It should not be like, we saved people from COVID, but people die out of hunger.” Isn’t it reassuring to see your ministers actually dedicating their lives to save their citizens? Let’s hope other states are able to replicate Teacher Shailaja’s working model too.
Featured Image: New Indian Express