We are a generation of kids who grew up watching superheroes flying across the sky saving lives, but the reality involves less of capes and more of dedication. During this coronavirus outbreak, we’re seeing a new wave of superheroes in the form of doctors, healthcare workers and IAS officers. As a part of our series spotlighting female IAS bravehearts, we bring to you the story of Srijana Gummalla, the officer who brought her 22-days-old infant to the duty amid the ongoing COVID-19 scare.
A Psychology graduate from Osmania University, Hyderabad, Srijana is a 2013 batch IAS officer currently serving in Andhra Pradesh. She ranked 44th in the UPSC examination and is the daughter of a senior IAS officer, G. Balaramaiah. She attained her post-graduation degree in Political Science. Gummalla is a gold medalist from Sweden’s Uppsala University and is currently pursuing a PhD.
An advocate of technology
Srijana Gummalla worked as an education management consultant for a year at Dr Redy’s Foundation. She is currently serving as the Commissioner of the Greater Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC). Her posting as a sub-Collector in Vishakhapatnam was a regulatory role. She looks into land administration, civil supplies, fair price shops and Rythu bazaars that take commodities to people. Gummalla believes in adopting technological mechanisms, wherever possible, as she believes that the lack of human interference helps reduce corruption. She has voiced her opinion about gender neutrality at her workplace. She wishes to gain respect as an officer and doesn’t want herself to be treated differently because of her gender.
“Today, with the coronavirus outbreak, the circumstances are such. I requested the Chief Minister to allow me to rejoin and he asked me if I was completely sure. I am grateful that he allowed me.”
Did not take maternity leave to fight corona
A picture of this corona warrior went viral earlier this month. It shows her sitting at her work desk, cradling her newborn in one hand while talking over the phone with the other. She did not take the six-month maternity leave sanctioned by the government because she felt that it was more relevant to serve the people in the current scenario. The netizens and senior officials have been praising her for prioritizing the country. Gummalla acknowledged the support she has been getting from her lawyer husband and mother-in-law in achieving the work-life balance in these harsh times.
“I went to the office in the morning and my son was born in the evening. Today, with the coronavirus outbreak, the circumstances are such. I requested the Chief Minister to allow me to rejoin and he asked me if I was completely sure. I am grateful that he allowed me,” she revealed in an interview with NDTV. Calling this a time to show solidarity, she wanted to be of help to the administration and the people of her country.
Saavriti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV