Srinagar: Hundreds of doctors and paramedics in Jammu and Kashmir have been braving the odds in their fight against COVID-19 since last year and many of them are leading the challenge even now when vaccination against the dreaded disease is going on.
There are many stories of courage, commitment and determination of countless frontline workers and two young health workers Tabassum Ara and Shabina Kouser are among them.
The duo has taken up multiple assignments and donned many hats while serving people since the pandemic began last year.
Ara (29) is posted at the district hospital in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, while 31year-old Kouser serves the people in Anantnag district and they have so far vaccinated around 15,000 people.
Ara’s fighting spirit against COVID-19 has been unflinching from the beginning of the outbreak, officials said.
They said she has served the people, especially COVID-infected patients and their families, in multiple roles without fear and with utmost dedication.
She even volunteered to take the first COVID vaccine jab in the district when there was vaccine hesitancy among the people as well as healthcare workers, the officials said.
Ara, who has been working in the National Health Mission for the last 10 years, has so far vaccinated about 7,000 people even when her family did not remain uninfected from the virus.
The health worker even vaccinated about 30 attendants of COVID positive patients at a dedicated COVID hospital in Pulwama when others were apprehensive to go near them.
I am not worried about catching the infection. I do not fear anything. I want to serve my people and will continue doing so, Ara, a resident of Payir village, told PTI.
The health worker said vaccination was the only hope for humanity and even though there were risks, she will carry on with her role to help win the fight against the pandemic.
We are not sure whether the person getting a jab is infected or not, but my concern is to serve the people. The job is hectic but I manage with the hope that we will win the fight against this pandemic, she said.
The officials said even while her mother is co-morbid, Ara goes out of her way to serve the people and perform her duties, sometimes even reaching out to the people at their doorsteps or in their fields.
Her level of commitment and motivation is an inspiration for all, they added.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also praised Ara on Twitter. Her commitment to serve people and save lives is an inspiration for all, he said.
Kouser, another health worker, has served in multiple assignments on treatment, isolation and vaccination fronts, the officials said.
She has vaccinated nearly 8,000 people so far, they said.
Kouser was posted first at civil hospital Pahalgam where she assisted in more than 30 deliveries for about six months which posed great risks to her and other doctors and paramedics.
My family was scared and anxious, so I used to put up at Pahalgam and return home after one month. However, I kept motivating myself and with time, my family too became relaxed which boosted my confidence, she said.
In October last year, Kouser was transferred to Achabal and was given the job of surveillance of coronavirus patients, distributing COVID kits and monitoring positive cases in home isolation while also attending many patients.
After the nationwide launch of the vaccination programme in January this year, she was assigned the job of a vaccinator both at the hospital and in the field, the officials said.
She has vaccinated nearly 8,000 persons including paramedics and other frontline workers so far and she repeats the job every day even on Sundays and other public holidays, they said.
The desire to serve people and an urge for the collective good, keeps her spirits high even as she comes in direct contact with the people, including those who are infected, Kouser pointed out.
A resident of Dialgam, the 31-year-old’s parents have co-morbidities and she has to take precautions for her family which also consists of her four siblings.
I have to take extra precautions so that none of my family members contract the deadly virus. Every day is a constant marathon, but I keep telling myself that some day we will overcome this pandemic, she said.
Kouser said she wants to vaccinate more people to help get rid of the disease. PTI