Delhi Corona Experiences: #DilliKeHeroes: Rajendra : Civil Defence Volunteer

My name is Rajendra, I’m a Civil Defence Volunteer. I’m 27 years old. 

The Delhi government’s Civil Defence Volunteers ensure that food is served properly at the Hunger Relief Centers. 

It is my duty as a Civil Defence Volunteer, it is all of our duty, to protect people. 

Rajendra ensures social distancing at the Delhi Government’s Hunger Relief Center in Kalkaji. 

I have been posted here as a Marshal. I make sure that everyone who comes here maintains social distancing and make sure that everyone is given food well. 

Tell us something about the Food Relief Program. 

This decision by the Delhi Government ensures that the starving people of Delhi are properly nourished and given food. Every individual gets food at both times. If a family has 4 members, all four members are fed. No one should be deprived or have issues. Even if someone has come from outside, we make sure they are well fed. 

The first lockdown began on the 21st – just one week after that, the food service was initiated in every school.

How has your work during the pandemic affected your family life? 

I have been able to give my family very little time. I refrain from going home, and if I do then only after getting a check up done, checking my temperature etc. I clean up and take bath properly before spending time with my family. 

Many people are safe inside their homes now, whereas you are out saving people’s lives, how does that feel?

I am proud of myself for being a Civil Defence Volunteer. I am not thinking of myself at all, and prioritise saving my country. 

Delhi Corona Experiences: #DilliKeHeroes: Vijay Yadav : Hunger Relief Cook

How many hours do you work in a day?

Ever since the lockdown was ordered, I only get 2 hours of rest a day. I’ve been working really hard. The work was a lot less during the Mid-day meal scheme. I have to work 22 hours a day.

What does your routine look like during lockdown? 

The food goes to 35-36 thousand people. There are 470 centres. We start cooking at 2 a.m. and work till 8 a.m., after which supplies start and we start cooking again at noon. 

Tell us about the food relief program

It is a public service initiative by the Delhi government. There are facilities to feed, give shelter, provide a place to sleep, provide water to 10-12 lakh people, while also maintaining social distancing. It is a huge undertaking. 

You are risking your safety to help others, what does your family think of this? What do you say to them?

My family members are really distressed, they ask me to somehow come home, but what can I do? I have to think about everyone. If I think just about my family, then who will look out for the 30-35 thousand starving people here?

I tell my family to think of all the people I am helping as family too. 

Delhi Corona Experiences: #DilliKeHeroes: Asha : Nurse at LNJP Hospital

My name is Asha, I’m a nursing officer at LNJP hospital. I am 34 years old. 

How many hours do you work a day?

We have continuous duties for 14 days now. We have three shifts, that is, morning, evening, which are six hours each, and night, which is 12 hours. With no offs, we have 14 days of continuous duties and after that 14 days of quarantine. 

How has your work affected your family life during the pandemic?

Due to the pandemic, I am staying away from my family. In my spare time, I stay in touch with my family through phone calls and video calls. I can only talk to my children through video calls. For now, I need to prioritise my work over my family. 

What arrangements has the Delhi government made for medical staff?

The lockdown, facilities provided at the hospital, accommodation, food – they are providing us with everything. Thank you Kejriwal sir for everything. 

What would you like to say to the people of Delhi?

Please stay home, stay safe, and help us. Don’t be under the misconception that having to stay home is an oppressive burden, it’s a blessing that you can stay home and spend time with your family. Some of us haven’t been home with our families for over a month. 

Delhi Corona Experiences: #DilliKeHeroes: Dr. Ajit Jain : Cardiac Surgeon, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital

My name is Dr. Ajit Jain. I head the cardiac surgery department at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital. I am currently serving as a nodal officer. I am 52 years old. 

How many hours do you work a day?

For over two months, I haven’t gone home from the hospital. The government is taking care of us and we are staying in the hospital itself. We leave for the hotel around 2-3 a.m. in the night, and return to the hospital by 7-8 a.m. The hours in the hospital are also not for rest, since there is constant work on the phone. 

What arrangements has the government made for medical staff?

CM Arvind Kejriwal sir held a meeting in June, and when the question of travelling during lockdown arose, he gave a say in regarding transportation.  We got cars that transport us from the hospital to the hotel, and from the hotel to the hospital. Even during lockdown, our staff has had no problems with transportation. 

How has your work during the pandemic affected your family life?

While talking to my family, it is easy to make my wife understand the circumstances, especially since she is a doctor. But it’s difficult when my kids start crying. It gets really, really difficult to say something. But then when I come back to my job and think about the disaster situation of the country and the globe, then I really feel like we must overcome this, and after that everything will be good again. 

Delhi Corona Experiences: #DilliKeHeroes: Jai Bhagwan : Bus Marshal

Bus Marshals are incharge of maintaining social distancing and preventing crowds on buses. 

We need to make sure there aren’t more than 20 people on the bus, and if there are more than that then we adjust them into a different bus. 

After working all day, how do you ensure immunity against infection before returning home?

I remove my shoes etc. outside. I douse the clothes I wore during work in a separate container of hot water and cover it up. I wash those clothes only after 12 hours. I take bath in hot water and clean up carefully, such that I am sure all germs have been killed. Only after all this do I meet my family. 

What do you think about the Delhi Government’s efforts in fighting the coronavirus?

I think the administration under Arvind Kejriwal is doing a great job. Giving food and shelter to the poor, giving us our salaries despite the crisis, giving 5000 rupees to taxi drivers, auto drivers and rikshaw drivers – they are taking care of everyone. 

What do you want to say to the people of Delhi? 

All of us should cooperate with the government and do our best to help so that we can defeat the pandemic, which we definitely will. 

Delhi Corona Experiences: #DilliKeHeroes: Reena : ASHA Worker

ASHA workers are at the frontlines of fighting coronavirus in Delhi, and work on surveillance and preventing breaking of social distancing. 

My name is Reena, and I’m thirty years old. 

As an ASHA worker I originally did field work, but given the pandemic, I am part of a team that visits homes, checks the conditions. If they are at home, we enable home isolation. If not, we enable their shifting, collecting of details, checking their SpO2 measurements etc. 

How has your work affected your family life?

As soon as I get home, I have to explain to my children that they need to keep distance from me. I wash my hands, take a bath, wash my clothes and clean up carefully. At first, I would spend time with my children but I don’t take that risk anymore and keep them at a distance from myself. 

What do you think of the Delhi government’s efforts to fight coronavirus?

If the government hadn’t taken these steps, the number of cases would have been much higher. They have been very cautious and active. Their policies benefit everyone. 

What would you like to say to the people of Delhi?

Your safety is in your hands. If you first maintain your own safety, then only can the government be of help to you. The government can support you and guide you, but it can’t change your habits and lifestyle. You have to improve and protect yourself.