By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): On the occasion of International Women's Day, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday felicitated 72 women vaccinators from 36 States and Union Territories as 'Best Women COVID-19 Vaccinators' and applauded their efforts.
"If today, India is a global leader in the COVID-19 vaccination program, the credit goes to our women vaccinators across the country," Mandaviya said.
Highlighting women's contribution, the Union Minister said that Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) workers are the pillars of the health sector development.
"Our ASHA workers are working relentlessly to serve the nation. They are reaching the last mile, traversing difficult terrains, going to every house to ensure that every eligible person is vaccinated," he said.
"Under 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign, our ASHA workers reached out to every household, promoted the uptake of vaccines and thereby, overcame vaccine hesitancy," he added.
Mandaviya further asserted that after India's vaccination programme was launched on January 16, 2021, the country has not looked back since then.
"It is because of the selfless service of all women vaccinators to the nation that India has successfully managed the COVID. India's management of the current third surge is a global case study and these women COVID warriors are the reason behind this historic success," he said.
The Union Minister also said that India has had a tradition and culture of respecting women since time immemorial.
"We have always worked together to ensure collective development towards this goal. When our PM Modi ji says 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas', women form the main pillar of this development ideology," he said.
Adding to it, Union Minister of State (Health) Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar congratulated all the women vaccinators from across the country and said, "Vaccination became Jan Andolan because of the vision of Prime Minister and the relentless efforts of all women vaccinators across the country."
"These women vaccinators have been working relentlessly to ensure that each eligible Indian is vaccinated," she said.
On the occasion, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the vision of this year's International Women's day - 'Gender equality today for a Sustainable tomorrow', drives all health programs today.
"For the last eight years, we have been witnessing a paradigm shift in the vision of development. From Development of Women to women-led development, the focus is on achieving new heights in every sector under the leadership of women," he said.
A woman vaccinator from Kashmir, Nusrat, has vaccinated more than 1,70,000 beneficiaries.
Speaking to ANI, she said, "People used to threaten us but we didn't stop; we continuously motivated them, told them about the benefits of vaccination, created awareness and at last, we achieved the goal of 100 per cent vaccination."
Abhilasha, who has completed over 1,13,000 vaccinations, said, "I am happy and thankful for the felicitation for achieving the goal, but it was a difficult task." (ANI)