The Indian edition of fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue has featured a series of women, as a tribute to the power of women. Among the set of 20 women from India that the magazine recognised and featured, is Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, who is “the forward-thinking health and family welfare minister who adeptly handled the Nipah virus and then the pandemic.” She was featured on the cover of the magazine as well. The fashion and lifestyle magazine, which has dedicated its November edition to the COVID-19 warriors, also honoured a nurse from Kerala, Reshma Mohandas, and IPS officer Rema Rajeshwari from Telangana, among others.
Incidentally, this year, Vogue followed a new format to celebrate the achievers of 2020, “alongside the women who have led the battle against COVID-19, both behind-the-scenes and on the frontlines”. Minister Shailaja shot to fame especially this year after Kerala turned into a model state for effectively dealing with the COVID-19 health crisis in the beginning stages. Vogue’s story further read, “Even today, she is considered among the handful of women leaders (like New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen) who responded accurately to the crisis.”
Rema Rajeshwari, the District Police Chief of Mahabubnagar in Telangana, was not only honoured for maintaining law and order during the lockdown, for ensuring her district is updated with verified and credible information. The magazine has also honoured other women with Kerala roots, Gita Gopinath, the Indian American economist who was formerly the economic advisor of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Describing Gita Gopinath’s contribution, the article on her read: “The intellectual powerhouse and first female chief economist at the International Monetary Fund has taken on the greatest challenge of her career — to guide global economic policy as we enter the worst recession since the Great Depression.”
Reshma Mohandas, the first nurse to have contracted COVID-19 in the state. She quickly returned to work to play her part in helping two of the oldest COVID-19 patients in the state recover. Dr Kamala Rammohan, assistant professor of pulmonary medicine at the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College. When COVID-19 struck, she was posted in Kasaragod, one of the districts that alarmingly lack proper medical infrastructure. She, along with her colleagues, had to set up an emergency COVID care centre from the scratch in the teaching wing of Kasaragod Medical College.