The coronavirus outbreak brought lives across the world to a standstill. Breathing in the air during a global pandemic leaves behind an unsettling feeling of an oncoming emotional turbulence.
The world outside has turned deafeningly quiet. No public speeches. No loud announcements. No commercial boards. Just plain eerie silence. We are at the very heart of this battle.
Not only did adjusting to the new normal of staying at home most of the times, maintaining physical distancing amid the pandemic affected our mental balance but the uncertainties regarding the financial, and physical well-being of our loved ones added to our mental stress.
However in these uncertain times too there were few people who rose above their own self-destruct mode to keep the wheels of normalcy running.
The frontline workers — the doctors, healthcare staff, police personnel, ASHA workers and several volunteers from across the country dedicated themselves to the task of saving lives and many of them didn’t meet their family members for months for fear of spreading the virus.
Some even spent nights in their vehicles to safeguard their own families. Not just that, on duty healthcare workers had to wear the Personal Protective Equipment suits for straight 6-8 hours, without water, food and even toilet breaks. They braved all these odds for the cause of serving humanity.
What was remarkable though was the fact that the healthcare workers went beyond their call of duty and were seen motivating COVID-19 ward patients in their own unique ways.
Internet was flooded with videos, images of doctors donning creative hats and dancing to songs, some performing yoga and laughing exercises in order to ease the stress of the patients. The police personnel and volunteers too did their bit by coming up with their own jig to create awareness among people on safety norms amid the pandemic.
While on one hand the pandemic brought out a darker side of the society with several treating Covid patients as outcasts a few commoners went an extra mile to do their bit for the society.
Here we will speak about some auto drivers from Maharashtra who went the extra mile to help others:
A 55-year-old autorickshaw driver from Uran taluka, came up with an innovative idea to help the needy during the first phase of the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.
He named his three-wheeler as ‘Khidmat’, meaning service (to the people). Ever since the countrywide lockdown was imposed, Ayaz has been ferrying people in medical emergencies and frontline health workers for free. He is also helping NGOs distribute meals to the needy.
As he is a known face in Uran, he also started dropping his mobile number in all the local hospitals and dispensaries, requesting the administration to call him if they wanted auto service.
A female auto-rickshaw driver in Mumbai’s Ghatkoper gave a free ride to the needy during the coronavirus lockdown. She helped people by giving free of cost service during lockdown to reach their destinations.
Auto-driver from Thane, has been raising money to buy and distribute ration kits to his fellow drivers and construction workers.
Gupta, who is known for his plantation activities, rose to the challenge after he witnessed food-related problems in his slum. He is a part of Sadbhavna Hara-Bhara Foundation, and he requested people to donate money via the foundation’s official page on Facebook.
Help poured in from individuals, NGOs, environment and social activists. He has been able to distribute ration kits to almost 90 families with the money he received. Priced at Rs 460, each kit contains food essentials like rice, dal, flour and oil.
He roped in his family to pack the kits. Maintaining social distance, Gupta either drops them at the beneficiary’s doorstep or keeps the kits outside his house for people to take.