The Tale of The frontline workers: A heartfelt talk with the unsung heroes!

Mishkaat Imrani
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The Tale of The frontline workers: A heartfelt talk with the unsung heroes!

Along with the doctors, many other frontline workers have been risking their lives just to ensure our safety. Their experiences are worth applauding and so we asked them about their COVID-19 duty.

These frontline workers did not get work from home like most of us. Some of them were out in the lockdown checking vehicles. Some of them visited isolation and COVID centers, some went out and reported factual information. While some buried those who were not given a dignified goodbye, their efforts are endless and they are the reason why many can stay at home safely, and even though their lives were in danger, they did not take a step back. Local Samosa asked these frontline workers about their COVID-19 duty and this is what they had to say. Keep reading!

1. "Being a journalist I can't even cry as we have to stay strong and console people all the time"


" I recently interviewed a person named Bhaiyya Shaikh. All the 7 members of his family including him were COVID positive. There was nobody to help them. He would have to travel 50 to 60 Km to get the medicines. He lost his mother and brother on the same day. The other 3 members also later died due to COVID-19. He was so depressed that he had even decided to commit suicide. But thankfully changed his mind because of his newly born nephew. I have covered many such stories but when I interviewed him I was clueless. It was way too overwhelming. Being a journalist I can't even cry as we have to stay strong and console them.


The work is tough there's no doubt about that. Sometimes I feel like switching off my phone and I even have done it once. But, after a while, I realized what if someone needs my help. The moment I switched on my phone, I got a call for an injection. It was 2 in the morning. I did arrange it for the person who needed it, but it made me realize how not missing a call can save lives. My work is tiring but it gives me peace that I am helping someone. Being a frontline worker is indeed difficult. During these 2 years, I must have taken the COVID test at least 15 times, and just because of me, my family too had to go through it. It's tough but we are doing our job."

  • Aftab Anwar Shaikh, Reporter, ABP Network

2. " There are many NGOs and even normal people who have been serving us tea, juices, water, and snacks"


source - This image is for representation

" Last year everybody was scared. There were migrant workers and even normal people who were leaving Mumbai. We did help a lot of people with food and drinks. This year also we are providing people with meals and other necessary items. But it's not just us. There are many NGOs and even normal people who have been giving us tea, juices, water, and snacks as we are constantly on duty sweating all day. We have collaborated with different NGOs for food distribution in slums.

10 to 12 people from our team were tested positive, so the rest of us even took care of their families. We have been constantly spreading awareness about this deadly virus. We had planned our duties and so we were able to manage things smoothly. I remember last year there was a family in Pune, and their father had expired. The whole family was stuck in there. We helped them get their E-pass as soon as we heard from them. So, the police have helped many such people"

  • Bhanudas Khataokar, Senior Police Inspector, Vashi Traffic.

3. "When you are on field you see all types of scenarios and try to help them"

Frontline workers

I have been reporting on Covid-19 since April 2020. I just finished my graduation and was very new to field reporting and that is when I saw a whole new pandemic around the world and to be honest it was the best time to start my career in journalism as there were a lot of questions and very few answers to things on what the virus, i.e. where is it coming from, what all can be done, etc. When I started reporting about COVID-19 in the pandemic, I had questions myself, I had to research the whole thing extensively. I learned how the medical infrastructure works, got to know about the conditions of the slums and the people who need money and sometimes not even money but ration and food because everything was stopped and the economy was down.

Frontline workers

As I am in this field for a year I have seen a lot more tension amongst the people who are in the hospital. I see a lot more worries among the parents who are having little kids as the third wave can also affect the kids. Adults worry about over-vaccination for senior citizens and so much more. When you are on the field you see all these scenarios and feel the grave situation and try to help them by contacting the authorities so that they get some aid as soon as possible, but there are cases where it can get late and that also takes a toll on a reporter.

  • Ryhea George, City Journalist, Newsband.

4. "Being on COVID duty is terrifying and disappointing"


" Compared to the first wave, this time we had lesser work. Last year we would stand all day checking the vehicles. This year the condition is better. But, the worst part is that people have started taking COVID-19 very lightly. Even during the lockdown, people are roaming around. Yesterday we had to check a four-wheeler, and the guy was not wearing a mask. It's sad how people don't care and if the police say anything, they say things about us that we are way too strict. Everybody now knows what precautions they should be taking. Until when do you want us to teach you the basics? There's no improvement, and it's disappointing.

Being on COVID duty is terrifying. There is a constant risk. I was worried last year, but now I have got my vaccination done. I have taken both doses, and I urge everyone to get vaccinated as early as possible."

  • Sandeep Dongre, Head Constable.

5. "I have buried around 700 people since last year"

Frontline workers


" I have buried around 700 people since last year, and if I talk about the second wave, in last 2 months, I have cremated 460 dead bodies. People are not even touching the dead bodies. They don't even come near them, not even their relatives. I have only one thing in my mind going on and it is to lift the body and bury them as nobody else is ready to do that. We started with 7 people, but now we are 25. Even my son who's 18 works with me. I want people to stay home and take care of themselves because it's not good out here"

  • Sagayaraj, volunteer at Here I Am.

6. "Sometimes it becomes very difficult to console or to convince the families"

Frontline workers

" So, we usually enquire about the positive cases on call, and after that, we go for the supervision. We supervise in different COVID centres, residential areas, and buildings. We visit people who are in quarantine and isolation and do their counseling. During vaccination, we wear PPE kits. Our duty is to educate people about the precautions. People still do not understand it, their mask is always below their nose. Also, while taking up calls, sometimes it becomes very difficult to console or to convince the family. Such calls last up to hours and it is overwhelming."

  • Nandini Prakash Naik, Head Nurse, BMC.

7. "It's been a shocking experience"

Frontline workers

'' Through our NGO we have helped many people. We have distributed 2,500 ration kits in the last two months with 8,000 food packs across Mumbai. We usually think that only the poor people need our help, but the pandemic was tough on everyone I believe. Many financially stable families were unable to get food and help as everybody was ill at their home. Now, thankfully we don't get many calls, but we are still working. It's been a shocking experience."

  • Saleem Sarang, Social Worker, Mumbai.

These frontline workers deserve nothing but our respect. They are real heroes, and we can never pay for the hard work and patience. Let’s stay home, get vaccinated, and take all necessary precautions so that these frontline workers can take breaks, and work well during their COVID-19 duty.

Also Read: The Tale Of The Frontline Workers: In conversation with doctors about their COVID-19 duty!

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