A ward ‘aaya’ from a government hospital in Anand who washes clothes of Covid positive patients at a hospital; a young doctor from Patan who has been on coronavirus duty since March and has treated more than 1,000 suspected patients; a differently-abled laboratory technician from Gir Somnath district who has been doing Covid-19 tests since April; and a sanitary inspector from Ahmedabad Civil Hospital who has been handling bodies of Covid patients, sanitation and bio medical waste management.
These are some of the 50-odd government employees selected by the Gujarat government from different parts of the state who will be felicitated at the state function here Saturday to mark the Independence Day. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will be present at the programme.
Shashikala Pandya, 42, works as a Ward ‘aaya’ at Anand General Hospital. She is one of the top corona warriors selected by the state government for the felicitation.
“Initially, the firm which had got the outsourcing contract of laundry work for the hospital had refused to wash hospital clothes. So, at that time I had washed the clothes with my hand like I do at home. Later, the government provided us machine for the job. But, we did it without any hesitation,” said Shashikala.
“In the initial days of outbreak, people were very afraid. But I did the job with a free mind. The patients were very frightened. So, to lighten their mood, I used to dance before them in PPE kit to make them realise that there is nothing to worry,” Shashikala added. She lives with her husband, son and a daughter.
Sandip Patel, 32, is a senior resident doctor at Dharpur Medical College in Patan. Sandip has been on corona duty at the hospital which is also a dedicated Covid-19 hospital for the Patan district.
“I am on Covid-19 duty since the beginning. Initially, everybody was very scared including the doctors. I have performed various duties from treating patients to collecting samples for Covid-19 testing. I must have treated more than 1,000 suspected patients so far,” said Sandip.
Like Sandip, Sanjay Vala (48) from Gir Somnath district is also on corona duty since April. The only difference is that Vala is a laboratory technician. But, he too has conducted around 1,500 tests so far.
Vala, who has lost one leg in a road accident 12 years back, said, “I had no fear of contracting coronavirus and had written to Jayanti Ravi madam (principal secretary, health) to depute me on corona duty anywhere in the state. Till now, I must have done around 1,500 tests. I stopped counting after crossing 1,000 mark. ”
Another government employee to be felicitated as a coronavirus warrior is Jaimin Barot from Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Working as a Sanitary Inspector at the Civil Hospital, Jaimin is handling the management of dead bodies of Covid-19 patients that includes sanitisation of the body and filling spillages in it if there are any to check further spread of the virus.
Jaimin said he is also involved in managing various decontamination and cleanliness tasks like decontaminating all the vehicles – government or private – that transport Covid patients, cleanliness of toilets and bathrooms.
“I have been continuously on duty since March 22 and stayed away from the family for two months. Now, I do go home, but I maintain safe distance from everybody. I visit home for 4-5 hours and remain completely isolated. I see my children from a distance,” added Jaimin who has a son and a daughter.
Principal Secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi said, “We asked districts to choose workers for the felicitation; those who have done inspirational, exemplary work. It could be people who worked against all odds. We have tried to include different cadres in it. So, it includes, surveillance people, nurses, doctors, Class-IV employees who clean up the premises, those involved in dead body management. Geographically also (people have been selected) from all across the state. We are also felicitating the task force members of the state; experts who have been advising the state.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines