Kejriwal thanks Covid-19 warriors, salutes them for being #DilliKeHeroes
“I have told members at my home to think that our family is now of 30-35,000 people. If I go back home, thousands will spend a day hungry,” said Vijay Yadav (36), a cook in the government’s hunger relief programme, in a video shared by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday to salute the front-line workers during the pandemic.
Kicking off the #DilliKeHeroes campaign with Yadav’s video, Kejriwal tweeted, “Most of us were locked in our homes during the Covid epidemic. But, some Delhiites were serving the people of the city and the country. The entire Delhi salutes these #DilliKeHeroes. I will begin sharing the stories of such heroes on social media from today.”
In the video, Yadav is seen at his workstation, a school, cooking kilos of rice and daal. He then looks at the camera and talks about his daily schedule. “I work in the hunger relief centre the whole day, and can only find two hours a day for myself. When I used to work in the midday meal centre before the lockdown, the work was much less, but now, I am working for 22 hours straight. We serve 60-70 centres and cook food for around 30-35000 people. Our first phase of cooking continues from around 2am till 8am. Then the second phase starts from noon after all the supplies have reached our kitchen,” he said.
For 34-year-old Asha, a nurse at LNJP Hospital, it has been a month since she has gone home. Since this is a pandemic, she said she is staying away from her family.
“I stay in touch with my family and my kids through video calls. We are required to work continuous shifts for 14 days — in the morning, evening, and night. Our morning and evening shifts are for six hours and the night shift is for 12 hours. We do not have any leaves, and there will be continuous duties for 14 days and then quarantine for 14 days,” she said.
Rajendra, a 27-year-old civil defence volunteer deployed at a hunger relief centre in Kalkaji has to ensure social distancing at the centre. He said he stays away from home as much as possible. Even when he visits, he prefers getting his body temperature checked before entering his home to meet his family members.
Dr Ajit Jain, a cardiac surgeon at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, said it has been two months since he met his family, and that his kids start crying whenever he talks to them on the phone. “The CM held a zoom call with all of us during the lockdown and arranged the best possible stay arrangements for us in hotels, because travelling would have been a problem for us. Transport arrangements have also been made for healthcare staff to travel between hospitals and hotels,” he said.