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COVID Warrior; Meet Irshad, Who Goes Out Of The Way To Serve People

SRINAGAR: Pandemic is fought and won by superheroes who sacrifice their own good for the larger good of the people. One such hero among us is Irshad Ahmed Zargar, 50, working as a Pharmacist in Community Health Centre, Batote. He has not availed even a single leave in the past one year.

For the past about one year, he has been dedicatedly sampling the people for Covid in hospital or at quarantine centres, Covid Health Care Centres and in public places.

He is well aware of the risk he is into but nothing stops him when it comes to serve the people in need. “Though I am extremely prone to risk of contracting Corona infection, but till now I am safe with the grace and mercy of Allah,” said Irshad.

In the hospital, his day routine starts with donning of PPE kit at 10 AM in morning and doing Covid sampling-RAT or RTPCR, in between shuttling from Operation Theater and emergency ward to assist the doctor in dealing the emergency cases, till he puts it off in evening. Then he arranges the samples, code, tag and pack them systematically and cautiously.

On an average he collects about 100 samples and a maximum of 200 samples daily along with his team.

Apart from his dedicated work, his charisma is something that makes him one of a kind. He is polite, compassionate and helpful towards the people who are in need. He writes his own cell phone number in the record for every illiterate or poor person who doesn’t either have his or her cell phone. Having a contact number is mandatory to maintain the records.

His services are not restricted to hospital only but goes out of his way without expecting anything in return. He visits patients in the neighbourhood who need nursing. He does it before and after returning from hospital. “This entire (work load) becomes very hectic and exhausting as not only my bosses but locals too have always high expectations from me since I am a local and known to everybody here” he said.

“After the demise of my father in 2017 and mother in 2019 my domestic responsibilities have increased and often my family and social responsibilities get badly neglected,” said Irshad.

Irshad’s services got recognized when his efforts were felicitated and was awarded on the last year’s Independence Day function.

Recalling an incident, how he worked during the first wave of the corona virus, Irshad said that last year when one day he had to go to Dhalwas Quarantine Centre for sampling of the travelers. “I had to stand under the blazing sun in the PPE kit for whole day and I was fasting (Roza),” He was about to collapse in the evening due to dehydration but still he didn’t break his fast and worked dedicatedly.

“I am ready to even sacrifice my life while doing my duty as it is my religious duty to serve the ailing and suffering people and I derive immense satisfaction while helping them,” he beamed. Praising Irshad, the Ex Sarpanch of his Panchayat, Ladhwal, Jagdish Chand said “He has been serving one and all in the village day in and day out free of cost, irrespective of caste and creed”. It is fortunate to have such a compassionate person in the Health department” he added.

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