Rakcham, a small village, is situated in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district did not have any doctors in their Public Health Center for several months. Last year, in June, Dr. Shilpa Kumar, a 29-year-old young healer, went for a month-long trip to Bir, leaving the rat-race life behind.
There she met with an old-woman with Chronic Pulmonary disease but never been treated earlier. Had she not found her that day, that old-woman would have died soon. This made her realize how bad the condition of the village was, and took the opportunity to get posted there.
The situation of the village
In Kinnaur district’s Sangla block, Rakcham is a village that has houses for 700 to 800 people. They did not have any medical practitioners in their PHCs for months. Dr. Shilpa was the first woman doctor there, and the villagers were quite shocked to see her shift in that climate.
PHC did not have any staff, which is why Dr. Kumar was the nurse, peon, clerk, pharmacist, and everything. Usually, she treats the patients by herself or arranges deliveries for the pregnant woman, but if she feels the need, then she sends them off to the community health center, 13 km away.
When the virus hit the world, Dr. Shilpa became the shield of these people, went to every household to check the vital signs and fever. With the bone-biting climate and hilly areas, she could cover only 20 households per day.
When the neighboring village started reporting cases, she did random checks in her and other adjourned villages.
Shilpa Kumar’s Journey
Shilpa Kumar finished her MBBS from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, and was working as a Junior Resident in Delhi’s LNJP hospital. But, she never wanted to be a part of that race and always wanted to help people on the ground.
Now, she sometimes feels overwhelming, but when she treats another patient, she gets that satisfaction, that she is there to serve. She even did not go back to her parents in the lockdown phase, in Bengaluru.