At IFORHER, we are celebrating Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja aka Shailaja Teacher as she has been named as the winner of the World’s Top 50 Thinkers for COVID-19 Age by UK-based Prospect Magazine.
While KK Shailaja topped the list, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern was ranked second in the list that was prepared from the result of a public ballot.
While applauding KK Shailaja’s commendable effort in handling the pandemic, the magazine mentioned:
“So deft was her handling of a 2018 outbreak of the deadly Nipah disease that it was commemorated in a film, Virus. In 2020, she was the right woman in the right place. When Covid-19 was still “a China story” in January, she not only accurately foresaw its inevitable arrival, but also fully grasped the implications,”
It further added:
“She rapidly got the WHO’s full “test, trace and isolate” drill implemented in the state, and bought crucial time by getting a grip of the airports, and containing the first cases to arrive on Chinese flights. Of course the virus returned, but there was rigorous surveillance and quarantine—sometimes in makeshift structures. The public messages have been consistent, and Shailaja follows them to the letter, with social distancing in all official meetings (which can go on until 10pm) and restricting herself to a Zoom-only relationship with her grandchildren,”
Yet another commendable leader, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister earned the second spot. Jacinda not only touched millions of hearts by her kindness driven leadership but also showed practical results in keeping a lid on the crisis.
Just behind her is the Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum, another woman working hard to handle climate change. She designs houses on stilts to keep families safe from rising waters.
The success story of Kerala and Shailaja Teacher in combating the outbreak has inspired many other states and countries. Earlier, the former high school teacher-turned politician was also a speaker at the United Nations Public Service Day on June 23, to honor those working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At IFORHER, we are in awe of Shailaja and hope she will keep inspiring many young minds with her achievements.
Image Credits: L,R