She still remembers that fateful evening two years back when a multi-storey residential building collapsed in Lakshmi Nagar. She rushed to the nearest hospital to help out and ended up spending the entire night raking care of patients.
But Valsamma Isac,the 59-year-old lab technician from Trilokpuri ,did not do so to fulfil a job description or earn an incentive. She went there to simply help out. I felt it was my duty to attend to the patients. I am no doctor,but I knew I could help them, she says.
On Doctors Day,the Delhi state government honoured medical professionals like Isac,who regard their jobs not a mere vocation,but a personal calling.
Hailing from Kerala,Isac still remembers the first time she came to Delhi way back in 1976,the citys rough DTC bus rides and its alien culture . But I wanted to be a nurse,so I came. That did not work out,so I became a lab technician instead, she says.
It has been more than 30 years,and then she has worked at seven government dispensaries and countless villages. But if there is one thing that has not changed,it is her zeal to do something good.
Besides,doing a day job at the dispensary,Isac and her son Stanley run a small teaching camp in Dallupura,a slum near Mayur Vihar,where they teach 20-25 young children. We conduct classes to integrate the kids with the mainstream education system. We have even managed to enroll a few of them into MCD schools, Isaac says.
Acknowledging the work done by these professionals,the government has even raised cash prize for these professionals from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for the doctors and from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50000 for the paramedic and support staff.
Lucy Patrick Simon (54),winner of the Florence Nightingale Award for 2011 ( the highest honour for nursing),has been working as a nursing sister at G B Pant hospital for the last 30 years,reviving and resuscitating hearts.
She is known to sometimes paying for patients medical bills from her own pocket and has single handedly saved peoples lives.
So what does she make of the awards and the recognition? It always feels nice to be recognised,but you never never really work for rewards. Making a difference in someones life is reward itself, she says.
And what makes a good medical professional? Care, she says. You can make miracles happen if you care enough.