#VinitasPune: Saluting The True Celebrities Of Our Country

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Image used for representation only

That person you always took for granted – the milkman, the vegetable vendor, the grocery, the cops, the municipal workers and officers, the waste collectors and of course the thousands of nurses and doctors – are our lifeline and our everyday heroes. 

Kudos to them

I’m so fortunate that our neighbour grocer who has a small shop with strings of snack packets posing as curtains to it, home delivers groceries, between 11 am and 5 pm, in these difficult days of the lockdown. He has been doing so since years, but for the first time, his visits to my house, turn into admiration for him.

I keep thanking him; wishing him and his family; all the very best for his selfless service.

In contrast, giant sized online grocers like Amazon and Big Basket who get high-rated film stars to showcase their ware, have been dismal and careless in their deliveries during such crucial times. No doubt, they are faced with crisis like paralysis of transportation, cops not allowing their delivery boys to go on roads and break in supply chain. However, the other day, after selecting some groceries from Amazon, I was told they were not available only when I came to the page for paying the bill. So, I wasted time as I was not forewarned.

Similarly, the vegetable vendor who comes to my neighbourhood with her son between 5pm and 7pm promptly calls me up when she arrives every evening.

I am overjoyed with her call as I get fresh vegetables and fruits and she delivers it to my door! She too has been selling me vegetables for past so many years, but I truly recognise her invaluable contribution in these days of imprisonment.

Damn, what would I do without her? I would hate to walk over even for a short distance for my daily shopping. So, whenever she comes which she does every evening, I never forget to appreciate her work on the frontline and praise her for all the fresh vegetables and fruits that she gives me. She comes all the way from Hadapsar to deliver these essentials.

I also salute the lady who comes to collect our wet garbage every day and dry garbage twice a week. The thought that the lockdown would mean a garbage pile in my house was completely thwarted when I saw her the first day of the lockdown and each day after that.

One day she asked me whether I could give her something as she does not have money to buy food. My heart wrenched for a moment and I ran to the storeroom and gave her a bag stuffed with rice, dal and sugar which I had bought before the lockdown.

I felt so good from within that she would not have to worry at least for a few days to feed her family. I’ve always known her value but I feel each one of us must understand that she is not some `dirty’ lady. It is we who are dirty enough to create enough dirt which she carries to keep our houses clean. If each one of us turned our wet garbage into compost and grew a mini vegetable garden, she would have lesser work and our city’s solid waste management system would not get strained. And if we limited our dry garbage by being judicious about what we are buying, the strain on her and the city’s garbage system would be minimised. As a good side-effect it would mean cleaner environment and containing of deadly viruses.

Our police force of course need a big salutation right from the constable to the Police Commissioner.

The other day my grocer told me he came late to deliver my groceries as a couple of policemen had come to his store with a grocery list of several senior citizens staying in the neighbourhood.

They have been doing great work in areas which have been sealed and promptly deliver milk, vegetables and fruits, groceries and medicines when asked for. On the roads, they are thoroughly checking every commuter to ensure he or she is not going on a joy ride or because of boredom. In the initial days of lockdown, there were certain excesses by them but otherwise they have been true to their duty.

For a change, there is no VIP bandobast to attend to (VIPs too are under lockdown) and they are serving common people and maintaining law and order. 

Also, most chairman and managing trustees of co-operative housing societies need to be commended for their alertness in ensuring no visitor or visitors’ vehicle enters the housing society premises. They have asked the security to keep strict vigil and not allow any stranger to enter. Many of the housing societies are also organizing vegetable and fruit vendors to sell in the premises, making it easy for the members. A big shout out to all of them.

Last but not the least, our domestic help are also our sheroes as we are now realizing their value even more in their absence.

They toil tirelessly and do all the house work that presently makes us sweat and tired. So, when they come back from their richly deserved break, we should thank our stars, every single day, for having their services. Most of them are so loyal to us, that they keep in touch during this lockdown. I feel bad that the employers are hesitating to pay them for the month of April. They surely deserve it, morally and on humanitarian grounds.

Let’s hope all these everyday heroes continue to be looked up in respect by all of us and not only because of this critical national health emergency. 


Pune365 Salutes All Our Covid Heroes!

#StayHome #StaySafe 

#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and/or individuals quoted and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same. 

Vinita Deshmukh

Vinita Deshmukh

Passion for the written word that comes alive, not only to tell a story, but to speak out loud about all that's good, bad and the ugly in society...

That's Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist who believes in journalism that reflects the views and needs of the common man.

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Vinita Deshmukh