Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Unusual COVID-19 warriors: Two airport ground staff recount their strife to ensure medical supplies

Ever wondered how medical supplies and essentials like face masks and gloves became more and more accessible as the lockdown progressed, despite all restrictions on movement across India? Well, it is all thanks to individuals like Anshul Gupta, Project Head (Medical Supplies) and Cargo Manager and Sanskriti Yadav, Assistant Manager, Cargo, at DIAL (Delhi International Airport Limited), who rose to the call of duty against all odds.

Both Gupta and Yadav are part of Lifeline Udan, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Special Campaign to ensure the healthcare sector is always well-stocked with necessary COVID medical requirements and gear. In fact, DIAL has set up a COVID-19 dedicated warehouse at the airport. Spread over 4,000 sqm, here all cargo related to COVID-19 is received, stored and distributed over the country.The two have been on duty since March 25, spending nearly 10 hours a day at the airport to coordinate with the team to ensure smooth functioning, 24x7.
Gupta drives 100km each day to and from airport. Till May 31, Yadav walked for 3km from her home in West Delhi to a point where a colleague would pick her up. “That was tough. Now I take an e-rickshaw,” says Yadav, whose neighbours didn’t appreciate the strife. “People in my colony were very sceptical and always discouraged me from going to office. They would move to the other side of road on seeing me coming back from office, sanitise the staircase and door when I passed, and always asked me why am I not flying back to my parents in Lucknow. I would feel upset, tried convincing them that the airport authorities were taking all precautions. They always told me I am not only risking my life, but theirs too,” she says.
10/06/20 Rajkumari Sharma Tankha/New Indian Express
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