Bhubaneswar: A young girl’s journey to realize her dream and her father’s determination to educate her in a village, nestled inside an elephant-infested forest barely 30 km from here, has turned out to be an apt advertisement for the government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ slogan.
Rashmita Patra, a trained nurse who now works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here taking care of newborn infants, is a story how unstinted support of parents can help girls climb the ladder of success.
Rashmita’s story has been turned into a 13-minute documentary by young film-maker Kaushik Nath, titled “She is my daughter”, which has won the second best film award and another prize for best editing in the Ignite Film Festival 2018.
“When I decided to educate my daughter at any cost, I was ridiculed by my fellow villagers who coaxed me into getting her married off,” said Rashmita’s father, Chandramohan Patra, a farmer who lives in Minchinpatna village.
As his daughter was keen to serve the sick, Patra said he left no stone unturned to ensure that she was trained as a nurse.
“As our village is close to Chandaka forest and infested by elephants, I have faced herds of pachyderms on the road. But because of God’s mercy, they have not harmed me,” said Patra.
Nath was excited when he came across Rashmita’s story.
“I was looking for a story to make a documentary when I came across Mr. Patra’s determination to educate his daughter against great odds. It moved me,” said Nath who works as the Promo and Creative Producer at News7, an Odia news channel.
The film was screened for nurses, doctors, faculty members and other officials of SOA (Deemed to be University) at SUM Hospital on Thursday after which Rashmita and Nath were felicitated by the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amit Banerjee.
Praising Nath for his ‘excellent work’, Prof. Banerjee congratulated Rashmita and her father for the determination they showed to achieve their goal. “My father has struggled a lot to make me what I am today,” said Rashmita while replying to the felicitation adding “I want to be a better nurse.”
Prof. Banerjee described Rashmita as a symbol of the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” initiative saying she would be tending to countless babies in the NICU providing the much needed impetus to the slogan of which she had become an icon.