TODAY -

His Call to the Nation

Kamal Baruah *



As the bell rang at 5 pm, people clapped their hands in glee and a scream rented the silence. The crowd spontaneously burst into song in the locality however our nation wasn’t happy with such unbelievable scenes of jubilation.

Things were no longer continued there as the very next day evening, people got panicked and bought essential commodities from malls / markets as they came to know shortly declaring lockdown by Prime Minister Modi in his second 8pm address to the nation.

The entire country has come to a standstill after midnight for 21 days. My memory goes back to combatant days while posted out at the border for protecting enemy’s aggression at inhospitable landscape. Those untold stories of Siachen Glacier have never been heard by common people where soldier literally survived in sub zero temperature for six months tenure.

Indians are asked to stay where they are. All establishments including educational institutions are closed down except essential services. The fear has gripped to the entire world community and they stayed home with their loved one.

Families are glued to the Telly when the virus update lives on. Those are terrifying moments of ongoing days. When people scared of hearing Wuhan, Sergeant PK Dhaka Medical Assistant went there at his first call from his base AF Station Hindon, where his ten member team at C-17 Globemaster aircraft have rescued 112 Indian and foreign nationals stranding in death-trap from the pandemic.

Even our PM felt honoured with such relief operation with the Air Warrior while hearing details of medical mission over telephone. Sergeant felt proud to serve the nation on this difficult times and PM has truly acknowledged him.

There are many such stories of Covic-19 heroics these days. Doctors, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, sanitation workers including administration are busied themselves on war footing to fight the unseen enemy.

Common people are also hit by lockdown for want of basic needs. Tourists are stranded in railway stations and airports. Migrant labourers are hit hard financially. Self help groups, Gurdwaras helped the needy nearby. Govt responded in time to mitigate the hit on the economy by offering bonanza, moratorium at bank’s EMI and food grains to BPL families.

The epidemic triggers the mass exodus of migrant workers at the national capital. Amid lockdown, jobless people run away for miles to reach home. Providing mandatory quarantine and health check up for those unprecedented mass homecoming people are huge task.

Ironically, India has not been looking health infrastructure too well so far. Govt run hospitals are proved to be wholly inadequate with huge population. The condition of North East is further worsening as they don’t have any trust hospitals where better treatment facilities are given at minimal cost.

India can’t manage to achieve health statistics where there are mushrooming of unregulated hand on private hospitals. Kovid-19 could be an eye opener. The entire world is moving in this darkest hour. India is looking for up-gradation to its medical infrastructure where doctor-to-population ration is just 1:2148.

The plethoras of challenges are huge for 1.3 billion people to cater to the growing demand with its rural-urban disparity. The virus is even ravaging rich countries like US, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Iran, UK, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherland etc where their hospitals are struggled with life-or-death decisions.

Assam has maintained a high level of preparedness by arranging thousands of beds for Covic-19 hospitals, facilities for quarantine and a hundred of newly constructed ICUs. Kudos goes to Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarmah and its department that put the arrangement within a very short period. Now the biggest challenge to the govt is to help the needy aftermath of this global health crisis.

German state fiancé minister kills himself in despair over coronavirus crisis sparkling economic meltdown. Is India heading towards economic depression too? People from all walks of life pledged to PM CARES Fund to combat Covid-19. SBI has also contributed Rs 100 crore from its 2.56 lakh employees to its fund depositing more than 4000 crore till now. Many organisations are voluntarily coming up for help.

This writer from being a banker has his call to the nation too. As he left office at the last day March-ending mid-night, there were no signs of any vehicles around. With its empty roads, it was great, stress-free road.

His enthusiasm wasn’t let him down by such circumstances while he was stopped at every crossing by cops in patrol checking on the road. They were still on duty that night. The fears from the passerby hospitals are growing everyone these days where doctors, nurses work 24x7 and go self quarantine after work.

People have suffered a phobia about the danger of virus these days. No wonder, in fact U.S. President Richard Nixon was reportedly refusing treatment for a blood clot as he was concerned he would not get out of the hospital alive.

There are more than a million people are affected with fifty thousand casualties from 203 countries & territories and the number is increasing each and every moment. India alone has 2000+ cases with 60+ casualties.

The situation will soon reach the crisis point as people still gather in large number. “If you’re home, you win”. Mumbai police at its creative best put up a picture of Superman sitting at home reading newspaper which depicts that the best way to fight virus is to stay home.

Cops have their little daughter, ailing father, worried mother at home too and requested people to stay inside as Police took it in turn to care all citizen.

Aren’t we going to do something to fight the Coronavirus? They are our unsung heroes of Kovid-19 fight back at this juncture; they (Corona warriors) are saving our lives too.


* Kamal Baruah wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a former Air Warrior and currently working for SBI Dispur. He can be reached at kamal(DOT)baruah(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on April 05, 2020.



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