Following the footsteps of the chief of Visakhapatnam's municipal body, Srijana Gummalla, a UP IAS officer, Soumya Pandey has resumed work three weeks after delivering her child. Cancelling her six months maternity leave, the corona warrior is said to have returned to the office and now a video of her is doing the rounds of the internet. The clip has gone viral after Dr Prashanth, a Twitter user, shared it. In the video, you can see her attending the office with her baby amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Soumya Pandey is a sub-divisional magistrate in Uttar Pradesh's Modinagar and can be seen seated at her desk while carrying her newborn baby in her lap. Soumya said in the video that she received immense support from her family and workplace and was able to resume work because of that. She says, "Responsibilities have increased in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As far as my child is concerned, God has given enough strength to a woman, who is able to give birth and also take care of the child simultaneously. In India, in most rural set-ups, women work till the last day of their delivery at home, outside, and even in fields. Thereafter, they give birth and also manage household chores apart from raising the child". She further said, "I am blessed that I am able to continue working with my three-week old infant. My family has really supported me. I got a lot of support from my workplace as well throughout my pregnancy."
The video was shared with the caption: "@IASassociation Soumya Pandey (SDM Modinagar) didnt availed 06 months maternity leave, joined back office with her infant daughter." Here's the video:
Must be inspired by @GummallaSrijana ! @IASassociation Soumya Pandey (SDM Modinagar) didnt availed 06 months maternity leave, joined back office with her infant daughter. #CoronaWarriors pic.twitter.com/8Q6Cju2X49
— Dr.Prashanth (@prashantchiguru) October 12, 2020
While the video says a lot, netizens have mixed reactions. While some cannot stop praising the officer, some believe it is a little unfair to other women who may not be able to keep up with same spirit after giving birth and hence the glorification seem unjustified. Take a look at the reactions:
I guess it's her personal choice.
If she is able to work and take care of the baby at the same time at her work place without any difficulty,then be it.
She is lucky to have a place like that to work.Most women around the world don't have that privilege.
— Amrita Banerjee (@AmritaBanerje19) October 13, 2020
Very wrong precedent being set here. Firstly, there was no need of it. Secondly, stop trying to project it as some heroic thing. What she did was her choice.
— Praveen (@A_ShuddhBrahmin) October 14, 2020
Congrats to new Mom @GummallaSrijana & best wishes to her baby & choices. But why does @prashantchiguru have to get an unnecessary inspiration angle? Why should women not avail 6 month maternity leave? Why do new Moms need ridiculous preaching to from strangers?
— Avantika Sharma (@IndicAvantika) October 14, 2020
It's nothing to celebrate about. It may be her choice to come back to her work so soon after delivery but celebrating makes it normal to expect similarly from all.. not all women can or would want to make such choice. Make it normal to respect a woman's choice.
— GT (@gtabassum) October 13, 2020
Recently, the chief of Visakhapatnam's municipal body, Srijana Gummalla gathered immense eyeballs for returning to her office in just about three weeks after giving birth to her son. The top officer says it is the call of duty as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic that motivated her to get back to work as soon as possible. The 2013-batch IAS officer, who was seen in photos sitting in her office with the baby cradled in her arms, won her high praise on social media.