Rashmi Rekha Das

The Odia film 'Daman' featuring top star Babusan in the lead has been getting overwhelming responses since its release. The film showcases a doctor’s relentless fight against superstition to save human lives in a remote village in the tribal district of Malkangiri. 

Based on a real event, the film changed the notion people had been having towards Odia films and it's needless to say, it struck an immediate cord with the cine lovers.

In the movie, Babushaan, who portrays the character of doctor Siddharth, is seen taking all possible measures to contain malaria in the region. 

Coming from reel to real, what is significant is that at a time when medical practitioners are leaving no stone unturned to get urban postings to lead a luxurious lifestyle, there are a few who not only choose to work in remote regions but also go beyond the call of duty to save as many lives as possible.

OTV caught up with one such doctor who with her persistent efforts has managed to transform the lives of people living in trying conditions.

Meet doctor B Monali Priyadarshini who not only walks miles to attend to patients and support tribals in dire need, but she also distributes medicine free of cost.

Hailing from Pandua village of Jajpur district, Monali completed her formal education at Barabati Primary School. 

Daughter of Sarat Kumar Behera and Binapani Behera, Monali cleared HSC and Plus II from Jaraka High School and Dharmasala College respectively. Later, she pursued MBBS from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Soon after her completion of MBBS courses, she joined Sinapali Hospital in Nuapada district as a doctor. 

The initial periods were very tough for Monali to adjust in the Maoist-hit district. Like doctor Siddharth in Daman movie, she felt very lonely. However, with the passing of time, she got accustomed to the place and dedicated herself to the service of patients.

She carries out door-to-door visits after learning that the people of Sinapali were deprived of basic healthcare services. 

“I realised that women of this region did not feel free to talk about health issues. That’s why I decided to visit villages coming under Sinapali and counsel them apart from giving them medicines.”

Apart from attending to patients during duty hours, she usually treks miles to attend to patients and counsel them to refrain from traditional practices to get rid of ailments. 

She said, “Many disease-stricken people living on the outskirts of Sinapali hardly visit hospital. Thus, I make it a point to visit them and provide them medicines.”

A local resident said, “I am not able to go to hospital. But doctor didi ensures to pay visit and provide me medicine on time. No matter how busy she is, she makes door-to-door visit to attend to patients.”