I can not … I can not … Everyone is dying … They are dying … I have no drugs … It reaches satisfaction … I can not do this … I had lunch at 6pm this evening … I can not eat … I can not wear a PPE kit while running from here to there … I just took it off and now … now I’m wearing a gown. “A young doctor employed in the ICU of a reputed hospital in Delhi is weeping profusely while saying all this on the phone with his family members.
No matter what the people in power say, the bitter reality is that the epidemic is now out of their control. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this black truth only as Delhi Delhi tragedy. This is the plight of almost half the cities in this country. The situation is so dire that people are now afraid to log into Facebook; The ringing phone scares them and if someone rings the doorbell, they don’t want to open the door. Floods of ominous news and various fears created unprecedented terror.
Our country, which prides itself on conquering the corona, is severely torn in the wake of this global disease. Sorry for our helplessness, even our small neighbors are offering help. Sure, the challenges are huge and already our hollow system is proving to be a huge failure. When political forces fail miserably society begins to fight fiercely for its survival. Even in the present times, some brave people have decided to face this catastrophe. These are people who have never been recorded in history. But time creates history through the works of these people. Let us introduce you to some of these people.
Meet Mithilesh Singh of Lakhimpur Kheri. His youngest son became a victim of the epidemic. It was a terrible blow of fate, but it did not break Singh. Instead, he decided to rescue sick children in the neighborhood. Although the government fails to provide oxygen to every patient, Singh keeps track of how much oxygen is available at any given moment and tries his best to make it available where needed.
You have heard how hospitals and black marketers of black drugs rob those in need; How life-saving drugs, injections and other items are sold in black. A well-known neurosurgeon from Ghaziabad was arrested last week on charges of black marketing of remediesivir. He and his group are earning more than that ₹36 lakhs every day from this bad business. Before engaging in this unpleasant act, did he not once think that he was undermining the great profession of a physician? No one can expect this from such a well-established doctor. Many other young physicians were involved in all their efforts in the care of corona patients.
The phone numbers of seven doctors from Haldwani are circulating in almost all local WhatsApp groups. These doctors prescribe plasma to Kovid patients. They sincerely remember the details of oxygen availability, beds, medications and all the amenities needed. This team of enthusiastic doctors has saved about 100 lives so far. Not only this, if necessary, they arrive with food at the patients ’doorsteps. Nearly half of them have not been home for a year now. Who said that Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis tradition is dead?
During this critical time of crisis, religious institutions also began to offer their services. Gurudwara ‘Oxygen Langer’ started in Ghaziabad. If you get in the car, they will arrange for oxygen in the car. Gurdwaras continue the tradition of service across the country, but the story of the Jama Masjid in Secunderabad in Bulandshahr district is somewhat different. When Imam Maulana Arif felt that the situation was deteriorating further, he requested his administration to build a Kovid hospital in the area where the mosque was vacant. There are many such places of worship that have opened doors for the service of mankind. Do those who divide in the name of religion learn some lessons?
Over the past year, Corona’s horror has had the worst impact on children going to school and college. A recent study by Aligarh Muslim University found that lockdown had a profound and negative impact on the minds of 44% of students surveyed last year. Many students were concerned. In such a situation, the question is how to protect our new young generation. Instead of looking for a theoretical answer to this question, BB Sharma, retired Additional General Manager, State Bank of India, decided to do something himself. He moved from one area of residence to another and began teaching children. The children now call him ‘Car Vale Masterji’. These days, he teaches online to follow the golden rule of social teaching.
Last year, during a lockdown, we saw how large numbers of people fled to metro cities for houses in villages. Even in their own villages they behaved cruelly and brutally. This time the villagers learned a lesson. There is no previous bitterness and resources are being mobilized to fight the disease with the necessary methods. Villagers of Rampur, Laxmipur, Tighara and Gola in Pimpaganj in Gorakhpur district have set up their own quarantine center. People from outside first spend 14 days at the center before living with their families. Its costs are also shared among the villagers.
When tragedy and desperate help are crying everywhere, the purpose of telling these stories is to gather our own courage. The characters in these stories are like those little lights, who know that they cannot dispel the darkness of the whole earth, but have the courage to fight the terrible dark night. Without saying anything, they send the message that darkness wins only when the lamps lose faith in their light. Greetings to these great human beings among us!
Shashi Shekhar Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan. The views expressed are personal.