On April 30, when Dr. Prerna (name changed) returned home after 20 days of continuous work she was moved by the rousing welcome from her family members and neighbors, the video of which was widely circulated in social media. Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded her and retweeted the video.
Shortly afterwards, the government paid a similar floral tribute in grand scale to all corona warriors across the length and the breadth of the country. Helicopters flew over major COVID-19 hospitals and showered petals over them, while military bands performed, and warships illuminated thanking their efforts and sacrifices.
As the pandemic tightened its grip to 210 countries, infected over 35 lakh people and claimed more than 2.4 lakh lives, the frontline workers are working tirelessly to keep us safe. Apart from doctors, nurses and paramedics, there are many more in the frontline who are risking their lives. Closer home, we have a few names who have walked the extra mile to serve the citizens.
Every morning at 5:45 am, Balia walks five kilometers from his home and reports to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation office at 6:40 am. At 7 am, he cleans the street from Kalpana Square to Mausima Square until 11 am. After collecting and segregating the waste he leaves at 2 pm. He is one among the hundreds of sanitation workers who are cleaning the streets and segregating waste all over the state.
Chandan, a technician at a public laboratory in Bhubaneswar, reports to duty at 8 am, collects samples and sends them for testing. Like him, several lab technicians have conducted more than 30,000 tests across the state. Presently, about 2500 tests are being conducted every day with plans of increasing the number significantly soon.
Ms. Bindu Lata Das, an anganwadi worker, oversees the distribution of food stuffs to children and pregnant women in her village. She also inquires about their health condition and creates awareness about preventive measures to fight the pandemic. Apart from that, she makes 20-25 masks in her free time every day and distributes them once every four days.
Mr. Nabakishore Singh, a constable in the Capital police station, patrols in a police control room (PCR) van from Rajmahal square to Goutam Nagar from 8 am till 8 pm, enforcing the lockdown. Apart from that, he and his colleagues also feed stray animals.
Apart from the frontline workers, there are many individuals who are fighting the pandemic on their individual level.
Kiran, a software professional, walks from his house at 7 am every day with five large packets of biscuits, a large pack of dog treats and several pieces of leftover chapatis to feed stray animals in his locality. He is joined by many of his neighbors and friends.
Vijay, a graphic designer, rides his bicycle and visits the houses of elderly residents whose children are staying abroad. He gets supplies and other essential things for them and asks about their health.
Mukesh, a voice-over artist, makes awareness videos on hand hygiene and social distancing mimicking various well-known personalities and posting them on his social media accounts. Apart from garnering great response from his followers, they are also shared by a few influencers who find the content relevant and engaging.
Like them, people across the state can volunteer to fight against the pandemic by registering themselves in the portal https://covidsangramee.odisha.gov.in/. They can opt to work either from their home, government office or in field locations to provide services in public awareness and information, on-field support, essential services, health, and relief camp management.
The application captures relevant information from the volunteer and allows them to specify their area of expertise and indicate geographical areas where they would like to volunteer. More than 10,000 people across the state have registered themselves as COVID-19 sangramee as per their skills and expertise.