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Award for health worker

Alipurduar, Jan. 2: Rita Roy, a health worker from Falakata near here, today received the Swasthya Ratna, making her the most efficient health worker in the state.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was present when Roy, 46, was given the award near Nabanna, the new state secretariat in Howrah.

She received Rs 25,000, a memento and a certificate from Biswaranjan Satpati, the director of health service in the state. Roy has been working as a health assistant in Falakata block for the past 24 years.

At times, she had to walk 7-8km a day to raise awareness among people about sanitation and polio drops, she said.

“There was a time when it was really difficult to give polio drops to the children in the villages. Villagers would not allow me to enter their houses. Earlier, all the babies would be delivered at home but now most of them are delivered in the health centres,” she said.

“It was also a challenge to educate people on the importance of health and hygiene but through hard work my efforts have borne fruit,” she said.

Roy was a little upset today when she did not receive the award from Mamata Banerjee but was elated when the chief minister patted her on the back and asked her to continue her work with dedication and sincerity.

This is the first time such an award is being given to a health worker. The award ceremony was held at the bus terminus near Nabanna in Howrah around 3.15pm today.