Mumbai DJ swaps deck for doctor’s scrubs to fight coronavirus
As the city continues to battle a growing number of coronavirus cases, local DJ Sanjay Meriya set aside his turntable and dusted off a long-unused medical degree in order to help out.
Meriya, 30, known as The Spindoctor in Mumbai music circles, began work last month as a medical volunteer after spotting a government newspaper ad asking for help.
He has chiefly been visiting a slum in one of Mumbai’s worst-hit suburbs, clad in a protective suit and gloves, to instruct residents about the precautions they should take to ward off the coronavirus.
“I’m very patriotic. I can battle this way [as a doctor],” said Meriya, who signed up as a volunteer for at least three months.
Mumbai accounts for more than 32,000 of India’s 150,000 cases of the coronavirus, making it the worst-hit city. With government hospitals short of beds and health officials overworked, volunteers like Meriya are all the more important.
Meriya began to dabble in DJing as a hobby at around the age of 20, while studying for his medical degree but said it then “took over me” – much to his family’s dismay.
“They hated it. They still hate it,” he said of his decision to become a DJ.
Although worried about his potential exposure to the virus, Meriya’s family is thrilled to see him back in medicine.
“They now have a lot to share with all our relatives, if you know what I mean when it comes to Indian families,” he said.