Last year, when Covid-19 raised its head for the first time and migrants in the city were leaving en masse for their hometowns, Sheoji Mishra (48), an English teacher at a Delhi government school which was functioning as a night shelter, had come forward to volunteer.
In May 2020, he contracted Covid-19. A few weeks later on June 7, Mishra died due to consistently dipping oxygen levels. On Thursday, almost a year after his demise, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal provided financial assistance of Rs 1 crore to his family.
Mishra was a TGT in English and was posted at RSBV, Kalyanwas. He is survived by his wife and two sons, one in college and the other in Class XII. The Delhi government has also promised employment to his elder son.
“Late Shri Sheoji Mishra was a very hardworking and dedicated teacher in our Delhi government school. He passed away after getting infected while on Covid duty last year. I can understand the pain and grief of his family. While we cannot bring him back, I, on behalf of the Delhi government, have provided his family with the monetary support of Rs 1 crore…,” said Kejriwal.
Saroj Mishra, Sheoji’s wife, said the last one year had been very difficult for the family. “I am a homemaker and my children are still studying. Thankfully, we have our own home, but it was a difficult year for us financially. My husband’s death came as a shock. We had to run around a lot after he developed high fever and his oxygen fell. This amount will bring us relief. My husband always had a dream that our elder son should also become a teacher. I hope someday that dream is fulfilled,” she said.
The family, which originally hails from Bihar’s Gopalganj district, had shifted to Delhi in 1999 when Mishra got a job.
Vice-Principal Ashok Kumar Bhati of RSBV, Kalyanwas, said Mishra had joined his school in 2017. “He was the most dedicated, hardworking teacher who never refused any work. When our school was converted into a night shelter, he came forward on his own to volunteer. Since most migrants were from Eastern UP and Bihar, I also felt he would be able to connect with them. When I got to know he had passed away, I cried for days. That shows how I felt about him and what he meant to us in the school,” he said.
As part of its Covid duties, the school had carried out screening, provided food and a temporary place to stay for migrant workers.