Corona Warriors - India's First Line of Defense

India is the harbinger of hope for the world in its battle against the deadly coronavirus, which is ravaging hundreds of nations and a truly global pandemic is threatening humanity. India, under the stewardship of an able Prime Minister, has swung into action to prevent the great nation falling prey to this deadly microbe.

While the nations around the world were paralysed by the scale of this crisis and their response to it, India has been amazingly decisive when it came to its war strategy: Lives of a hundred and thirty billion Indians are most precious than anything else in the world. And protecting lives has been the mantra of the nation ever since its battle began against the deadly pandemic began. The Prime Minister's slogan best captures this Indian spirit: Jaan Hain to Jahaan Hain. India did not think twice about shutting down the fifth biggest economy on the planet for three weeks. Indian lives are more important than other, and important, concerns.

For India to save its 130 billion lives, it needs to put millions of other lives on the line of danger. These lives are not just ordinary ones. They belong to a sterling order of brave warriors that protect India. Billions of their compatriots trusted these warriors with their lives. These warriors comprise diverse and wide-ranging professionals, who work at the frontlines, in the way of the deadly virus. Without them, the nation is helpless in surviving this massive pandemic.

Fondly called as "Corona Warriors", these professionals come from several occupations: some are the humble sanitation workers, while some are the smartest brains of India in the fields of communicable diseases and medicine. Yet some are the courageous and proud police forces of the States and some more are the untiring and hard-working delivery personnel, who zig-zag the Indian streets to serve their brethren, locked up inside their homes. Some of them brave the public health crisis and cover the ground zero with their cameras and microphones, while some others offer the highest form of service that a person can offer - serving the sick and diseased.

These stupendous corps of nurses, sanitation workers, doctors, home-delivery personnel, journalists, ASHA, Anganwadi workers, Self Help Group women, 108 ambulance technicians, and countless other heroes who put their call of duty ahead of their own lives and their families have stood firmly against the deadliest biological threat to humanity in a hundred years.

The Prime Minister gave an unprecedented call to observe a day of Janata Curfew, a self-imposed lockdown on 22nd March. In hindsight, this was a preparation for the following weeks-long lockdown. However, the one request that the PM made during the observance of the Janata Curfew was also equally unprecedented: he asked each of the 130 billion countrymen to come out for five minutes on that day into doorways, balconies, terraces, etc. and clap with hands or bang the bells or plates in the honour of these brave corona warriors. At one stroke, for the first time perhaps in the history of this nation, the country came together to celebrate, respect and recognize the untiring work of the countless frontline workers who are so often invisible to the society. For the first time, the Prime minister infused in this nation a sense of gratitude and thankfulness for their service and for keeping us safe. This is doubtless a tectonic shift in our society's view on such professions and this will change the way we look at them forever.

Even while the country keeps up a valiant fight against the challenge, the nation has kept the well-being and welfare of corona warriors at the paramount. Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, all the over two million frontline healthcare workers are offered a free life insurance cover for ₹50 lakhs. Elsewhere, they were offered a Guard of Honour from the Police for their invaluable service to the nation. There have been countless instances of gratitude and respect offered to these professionals by the country reeling under the strain of the crisis.

All this change has been brought by the leadership of the Prime Minister, who galvanised the nation to rally behind a cause and ensured that Indian lives are saved at any cost. This unprecedented challenge is bound to have lasting consequences for the times to come.

When history is written on these dark times, it is remembered as the inflection point in modern India's history when a hundred and thirty billion strong nation celebrates not just the dignity of labour but the boundless pride that comes along with selfless service for our beloved and great nation. Jai Hind!

© Copyright 2015 PPRC