Not All ‘Heroes’ Wear Capes – 4 Covid Heroes You Ought To Know
The Covid19 lockdown has been a tumultuous situation for each and every individual, in its own way. However, there were some that were hit harder than the others: the poor, daily-wage workers, and those without savings to survive this period. As a nation with an unemployment rate of up to 23.5% as of 2020, the affluent sure have found innovative ways to do ‘time pass’ during this time, whereas on the other hand there is a vast majority of the lot, living ‘hand-to-mouth’, struggling to meet their next meal needs.
It is during the time of such hardship that we as a society start seeing the sacrifice and dedication of true heroes instead of the superficial ones we see on the silver screen. The simple question on many peoples’ minds currently is: ‘how can we help?’ Though, the answer to this is a bit more complex, several conscientious citizens have found a way to help people and keep the flame of humanity alive.
When an ordinance mandating the donning of protective masks took effect in early April 2020 in India, a wrinkled hero came to the rescue, 98-year old, Gurdev Kaur has been using her time throughout this period to stitch cloth masks at her house for needy people. The nonagenarian is working on these masks, despite her low vision. She makes over 200 masks every day, which is then distributed among vegetable sellers, poor labourers and people in need. Gurdev satisfied her creativity by designing and making clothing and other stitch crafts on an old-fashioned, hand-operated Singer sewing machine, which has been her constant companion since her in-laws brought it to India from the Malay Peninsula nearly 80 years ago.
As we say ‘negative’ is the most positive word of 2020 but a teacher from Ladakh has proved us all wrong. Despite being COVID-19 positive and living in an isolation ward Kifayat Hussain ensure that his students’ preparations for exams are not hindered. Hussain is taking online classes using internet communication tools like Zoom and making YouTube videos for his students. “Teaching is not just my job, but my passion. I was concerned that students will be left behind in their studies and it will be a burden for them if I cover the syllabus in a hurry in the future. I had enough strength to teach so I thought I should give it a try,” said Mr. Hussain.
Women’s groups are active to help the people in slums like the one headed by Lalitha Kumari. She is the head of the local women’s self-help group, they step out of their house for a long day just to help people in need. Lalita takes care of 4,000 urban slum families and in the time of COVID-19, she is providing additional support such as prevention awareness and counselling. Lalita works with Andhra Pradesh State Government Urban Department’s scheme Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) in Madanapalli Mandal, Chittoor District.
Wedding is an important day for all of us be it a big fat Indian wedding or a small affair with our close relatives. The ongoing Covid19 pandemic has changed all the definitions of an Indian wedding. A 30-year-old auto rickshaw driver from Pune, Akshay Kothawale, who deployed the money he’d saved for his wedding to feed migrant labourers trapped in the lockdown. Akshay drives his rickshaw daily to help the needy. He ensures that he follows the guidelines of social distancing while contributing to society in the hour of need. He has been offering free auto rides to pregnant ladies and old age people to the hospitals for their check-up. He began with setting up a small kitchen where he cooks along with his friends. The basic food packet comprises of roti, curry and a bottle of water.
If we can learn something ‘redeeming’ from the corona virus, it’s equality for all. Covid19 doesn’t discriminate on gender, caste, class, religion, race, language, sexuality, colour, looks, job, age, nationhood, education, IQ, or EQ. If only we view us like this. Well our heroes sure did!