Shanti Teresa Lakra
G.B. Pant Hospital-Port Blair,
Working amongst Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands of Indian, Shanti is deeply committed to serving the people there and ensuring that adverse health conditions should not lead to their extinction. A&N Islands are the home to six Scheduled Tribes and of these six tribes, five have been classified as PVTGs. In her early nursing days, she was posted to the sub-centre, Dugong Creek where one of the Primitive tribes Ongees are settled in remotest area of Dugong Creek, Little Andaman. The tribals are not well-informed about medical procedures and there is a language barrier when they visit medical institutions. They also have unclear medical histories. Shanti spent time at their settlement so that she could make them comfortable. In 2004 when the Indian Ocean tsunami swallowed the Ongee Island habitat and drove them deep into the jungle, Shanti was perseverant and made her home with them and lived in an open tent. She has received several awards such as the National Florence Nightingale Award in 2010, Indian Red Cross Society Best Volunteer, and Best Health Worker Award in 2011. The Government of India honored Shanti Lakra in 2011 with the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri for her incredible service.