I met Dr.Vasantha yday after a couple of weeks. When I saw her last,she'd been suffering from severe pain in her arm for which she'd been recommended total rest.
That day, she had promised she would take some time off and give her arm and body some rest.
Well, obviously from the pain on her face, she hadn't done anything of the kind. She'd spent the day immunizing 150 babies.
Vasantha works for the Municipality. She holds five posts simultaneously (being paid for one) and jokes 'Im responsible for the health of the entire district'. Reason, people haven't been posted to the other 4.
" If I hadn't gone today, those 150 babies would have gone back and their health programme would have been upset. There's no one else to to carry it out" she said.
"What about the new doctor who's been posted here" I asked.
"He's not used to working so hard. He might get frightened and go on leave. I have to ease him gently into him new job," she said.
Vasantha's daughter says " The babies of Ooty can find other doctors to look after them. But my granddaughter has one only one paati. You'd better take some leave and come here and have some rest too."
Dr.Vasantha will get paid if she goes on on leave. Its her sense of duty that is keeping her going.
When we curse our government officers and functionaries, we could remember there are many people like Vasantha who have a huge sense of responsibility and keep doing more than their jobs.