Kerela’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare KK Shailaja has been named as the one of the “top world thinkers of 2020” by a British monthly magazine ‘Prospect’. She is among 50 such public figures across the globe to be selected for the honor in Covid age.
According to the magazine, more than 20,000 votes were cast and counted in a public ballot to finalize the list. KK Shailaja, a teacher turned politician is the only Indian to have found place in the list.
“So deft was her handling of a 2018 outbreak of the deadly Nipah disease that it was commemorated in a film, Virus,” the magazine wrote, adding that “She was the right woman in the right place in 2020.”
Shailaja organized rigorous surveillance and quarantine, at times in makeshift structures. The minister makes it a point to maintain social distancing in all official meetings, which can go on until 10 pm and restricts herself to a Zoom-only relationship with her grandchildren, the magazine noted.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is ranked no.2 on the list while Bangladeshi architect made it to the third spot.
Nobel Prize winner Esther Duflo, writer and Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, environmentalist David Attenborough are other popular names on the list.