The heroes in these troubled times

Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation on several occasions during the last few weeks; weeks which have been very stressful for the entire nation on account of the Corona Virus pandemic which has affected almost every country in the world. On each occasion, the Prime Minister recalled and lauded the selfless service being provided by several sections of professionals and workers – the brave warriors at the forefront of the battle to control and overcome the dreaded virus. Large sections of people are participating in this battle and working to protect citizens and to enable others discharge their duties in these troubled times. The role of health workers in this regard is an example of supreme devotion to duty. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, ward boys and other support staff are in the news almost every day for their dedicated service. These are dealing with affected persons and suspected cases of infection, nursing the former back to health and enabling isolation and care of the latter. In the process they face potential risks of infection themselves and are required to maintain strict protocols to protect themselves. Then there are members of the police force who now have a new set of duties. In television reports and social media clips, they are seen patrolling the streets tirelessly and urging citizens to follow all instructions with respect to social distancing and not to venture out
of their homes. Medical and grocery shop owners, and vegetable vendors as well as truck drivers and labourers who haul essential goods into our cities and stores are key
resources which enable sustain life. The role of our municipal employees at all levels is to be surely lauded. They are undertaking crucial tasks including surveillance for new cases, creating and managing quarantine facilities, augmenting and setting up new health centres and test facilities, putting in place protocols for preventing spread of the disease, and so on. Most are also setting up shelters and providing food for the homeless. All these require roundthe- clock work and high levels of commitment. In addition, the routine tasks of city management including water supply, street cleaning, garage disposal and a host of other tasks have to happen each day without fail. It is indeed a challenging scenario
and the municipal organizations of our cities deserve praise. Then there are some categories of people which are not so visible and are working behind the scenes to make our lives near normal. Think of the employees of electricity transmission and distribution utilities across the country. In these times of great stress, the last thing we need is extended power outages due to systemic breakdowns. There are large numbers of employees of power companies who are travelling to work each day at all times (equipment is generally manned round the clock) in order to ensure proper working of the power infrastructure and thus uninterrupted supply to our homes and other institutions like hospitals. Mobile telecom networks are always crucial, especially today to enable digital payments, and to keep in touch with our near and dear ones as also with providers of essential services. Employees of telecom service providers are also unseen men and women who work to maintain mobile networks and ensure seamless voice and data connectivity. Employees of banks and financial institutions are among others. All these people face several difficulties in the discharge of their duties including travel to their place of work, food and refreshments during the day, and of course protecting themselves from infection. Let us acknowledge, appreciate and applaud these and several others who go about their work each day, day after day, lockdown notwithstanding, in the service of the nation.

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