Sibani Das, a nursing officer of state-run MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Odisha's Berhampur, has been selected for the National Florence Nightingale Award 2021.
Smita Kar, another nurse working in a Public Health Centre in remote Tasati tea garden in Falakata block of West Bengal's Alipurduar district, has also been selected for the highest nursing honour in the country instituted by the Indian Nursing Council (INC).
Fifty-year-old Das has been selected in recognition of her dedication to the profession, particularly for her service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital's superintendent Santosh Kumar Mishra said on Monday.
Kar, on the other hand, was selected for spreading awareness among the tribal populace after duty hours.
The prestigious award will be conferred on Das and Kar by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function, the date and time of which are yet to be decided. The respective health departments have been informed about Das's and Kar's selection for the award.
"I am very happy for being selected for the highest nursing honour in the country. It will encourage others to serve people more," Das said.
"I thank my co-workers and family for always being by my side. Without their support, this would not have been possible," Kar said.
Das, who hails from Lochapada on the outskirts of Berhampur town, has around 25 years of experience as a nurse. She joined MKCG Medical College and Hospital as a nursing officer in 2007. Before that, she had worked in a private hospital in West Bengal from 1997 to 2007.
She was deputed to Tata COVID Hospital at Sitalapalli near here during the pandemic in 2020. She served at COVID Hospital-11 in the medical college and hospital last year.
"She had worked hard in both the COVID hospitals. She deserved the award. The medical college and hospital had recommended her name to the INC for the award, Mishra added.