On 24th March 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the entire nation will be under a total lockdown for 21 days to reduce community spreading of corona-virus disease in India and all the havoc began. All started panicking and feared for their own lives and their loved ones. The WhatsApp University began bombarding numerous solutions for prevention and cure of the horrifying disease COVID-19. But the best precaution worldwide is to yourself locked-down in the world’s best place:” your home, sweet home”.
The PM’s order was a bold step but a large number of people were away from their comfortable homes. This lockdown has put everyone into a confused state of mind. Would you call it a house arrest or a chance to evaluate yourself? To answer this we need to look into the lives of different individuals. From rich to poor, from the people dwelling in skyscrapers to the ones in the heart of the country the villages.
For instance, many of my IT professional friends like Vipul Vaity this lockdown means work from home and it means at times he has to slog a few more hours than he does in his office. But he’s happy to do so as he saves his time on travelling and also keeps the pollution level low in the city. This ritual of slogging many more hours is followed by all the professionals which results in more productivity for their respective companies. As long as the internet works the work from home crowd doesn’t complain.
On the other hand Aysh a Sales Manager, with a real estate Company, this lockdown is an opportunity for him to spend time with his wife. As his job profile involves lots of travelling, flying abroad and dealing with business professionals from the Middle East regularly. For Ankit Bhoi who works as the Head of administration at a School, vacations have come early but at the same time, he’s worried when the new academic year will begin.
Dr. Akanksha has been juggling with work and home. She’s attending patients at late hours and also looking after her sister-in-law who’s expecting a baby soon. For her, this lockdown is a mixture of sentiments where she’s helping the recovery of patients and on the other hand preparing for a newcomer in her life.
This lockdown has also allowed grooming yourself and being with your family. Be it Yoga, work-out, following a healthy diet, the youngsters, as well as the older generation, are actively putting efforts in looking after themselves. Vaishnavi Patil a banker by profession is busy preparing mouth-watering diet recipes and sharing amongst her Instagram and Whatsapp friends. Asawari a teacher is busy giving insights on how to keep the kids busy and away from television sets and internet in this testing times.
Khozaim Momin Sales manager with a company dealing into manufacturing of medical equipment. He’s content as he has contributed to society by crossing his monthly sales target. He has supplied the medical equipment to many hospitals in Mumbai which are in dire need for treating the COVID patients. And during the lockdown, he’s feeling relieved as he has found ample time to help his wife and look after their newborn baby.
Dreams awakened and prolonged
Krunal Patel a Software Engineer’s dream was fulfilled on Valentines when he got approval from his company to work at the US office for a period of 2 years. He was busy planning his scheduled leave in May when the COVID 19 outbreak moved rapidly and his dream again seems to be postponed for the time being. Ujwala a practicing Lawyer has found solace at her native place in Wai, Satara. Her native home is a renovated farmhouse which is away from the busy city life. So she’s happy to teach her young daughter, the importance of agriculture and village life.
Subhradeep Banerjee an entrepreneur is enlightening himself by watching the online book reviews and happily sharing the secrets of how to improve your work and lead a better lifestyle. Kasim stays in a chawl beside his relative Shahid both hailing from their native villages in the outskirts of Gulbarga, Karnataka. Kasim delivers newspapers and Shahid a chaiwala feeds his family by preparing tea for a warehouse complex. He approximately served 500 tea-cups daily and had planned to go to his native place in Gulbarga, Karnataka for the summer vacations along with his family and his friend Kasim but due to lockdown, they both are living on the savings they made in the past few months and hence it seems summer vacations have been postponed for both until next year.
Humanity at its best
This lockdown has also allowed social worker and youth politician to help the peoplein which my friend Hemraj Mhatre along with his team of 20 youths from Panvel and Raigad District have helped around 600 labours to get shelter, essential supplies like food and medicines from different states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. His mentor Shri. Satyajeet Tambe, President of Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) and his youth workers around the entire state of Maharashtra have done a humongous task.
Around 40 District Presidents and numerous post holders of (MPYC is a youth wing of Indian Youth Congress and Indian National Congress) have conducted Blood Donation Camps around the entire state and have successfully collected about 10,000 bottles of Blood and helped the Indian Government in these testing times.
The youth feel proud as apart from blood donation camps they have also committed to help the displaced and the poor people by providing them face masks, sanitizers, and have tried to donate essential supplies for the entire lockdown. Tambe’s youth team of Washim District have painted the streets in various villages and have conveyed the message of maintaining the social distance to prevent the dreadful COVID-19 whereas his Thane team has undertaken the sanitation work in the Yeor village, Thane. Tambe is hopeful of collecting a donation from Maharashtra state through his youth team and donate it to IYC, Delhi which in turn would distribute to the needy throughout the nation.
Khushroo Poacha a Nagpur resident received a call from Shri. Uddhav Thakeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra praising the efforts he had put to feed 6,000 families and also managed to collect 2 tonnes of rice to feed another 60,000 poor people. All this was done single-handedly without any help from the government. He explained to the CM how he had set up 21″seva-kitchens” in India to feed the needy with nutritious food and also “Neki ka Pitara aka fridge of kindness” for the poor.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there have been many donations done by various business personalities, celebrities and sportsmen in the entire nation. The Tatas have always set an example during the time of crisis, Shri. Ratan and his group of companies have pledged to donate Rs. 1500 crore to help the needy during the fight against this dreadful disease.
A 15 year golfer Arjun Bhatia has made one of the greatest sacrifice a sportsman can make. This teenage golfer from Noida has sold all his trophies which he earned in his career and raised Rs. 4.30 lakhs towards the donation for the needy. The trophies includes three world golf championship titles and national championship and donated the money towards PM-CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund.
Finally, the only thing to say is that caste and religion are not important to show humanity. These and many more heroes who are helping all people of all religions as humanity alone.
Mother nature is healing
The mother nature is happy to be relieved from all kinds of pollutions as everyone is away from their work and house arrest. The pollution level in the cities has come down drastically. The humans are staying indoors and the earth is healing which is good news for the animal kingdom too.
Now lets talk about Mumbai. Mumbaikars got a glimpse of rare sights of Dolphins near Breach Candy, Mumbai. These dolphins are also known as Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins which are often seen on the Mumbai coasts. It is said that due to lesser movements of large ships at JNPT the dolphins were sighted so close to the shores. The national bird was sighted on the streets of Babulnath and Malabar hills, Mumbai. The lucky residents of Parsee Colony got a glimpse of these Peacock in the morning.
The infants are very sensitive and need the utmost care. They could be excluded from the strict regime as they act according to their whims and wishes. The school going kids should be kept away from the televisions and the internet. They could be taught the moral stories, the stories of Akbar-Birbal, stories of Panchtantra, Amarchitra Katha, the stories of great warriors such as the Great Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Tipu Sultan, Ashoka the great, the stories of the freedom struggle.
The college students should be kept occupied with the struggle and making of great personalities through their biographies and autobiographies such as my Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the legend Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Wings of Fire by APJ Abdul Kalam Azad, Ratan Tata, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg to name a few.
The professionals if are not working from home they could try their hands at cooking and may develop new hobbies such as singing, writing blogs, poetry and drawing. One could start to learn gardening and teach the little ones too. The little ones could be taught by planting, soiling and watering one sapling at a time.
The elder ones need to look after their health so they have to pay attention to their diet and food habits. They have ample time to look after the younger generation and they should share their valuable experiences with them. Painting is a rare activity which the professionals hardly engage with, this is a good time to nurture such activity, who knows one may find a hidden artist in these testing times.
Follow a Schedule :
But all’s not well due to the lockdown. People are getting tensed due to this isolation. Many of us are glued to the news channel and praying for the speedy recovery of the infected and taking precautions so that the number doesn’t increase in our neighbourhood.
There are interviews and tips regularly shown by a psychiatrist as how to keep calm during these testing times. There are many such tips to be followed. Following are such age-wise. The most important tip which everyone must follow is to have a time table scheduled and which has to be followed regularly. As per Scott Kelly, a retired astronaut who has spent an entire year in space suggests us to follow a schedule, develop a habit and start journaling to keep yourself engaged during these testing times.
Hygienic lifestyle and a minimalist approach:
During this horrific time, one needs to learn to maintain social distance. And while doing so one needs to maintain a hygienic lifestyle. For the beginners regular cleaning of hands by soap or sanitizer as shown on television and also wearing a mask in case you need to move out of the house.
By staying at home one could easily find the time and start with cleaning their wardrobes. The unused clothes and things could be packed and kept away to be given to the needy. The younger generation is unaware of the importance of the hygienic life and minimalist approach, if they are taught the importance at the right time they would continue for their entire life. And this lockdown is a good time to do so.
Honour/ appreciate the Community Helpers:
The horrific time is so vague that be of any religion, caste, rich or poor, all the places of worship are closed. Hence the Doctors, the police officers, the municipal employees who keep our city clean and the people who are completing our essential supplies need to be appreciated. As they are our only silver lining. The simplest way one could contribute to their efforts is by staying indoors and helping God’s avatar to do their jobs in their best possible ways.
Health is indeed Wealth:
Lockdown has given us most of us ample time to look at our health and our lifestyle. We could adopt a habit of learning yoga, meditation or a workout at our homes. A 30 mins workout can do wonders for your beer-belly and you could surprise your office colleagues with your new look after the lock down. This time there cannot be any excuses for want of time or energy as most of us are staying home. One could look up to the internet and take guidance as to work out for beginners at home and also on the activity almost the entire globe is following “Yoga”.
The world is going through a horrific time and we have learnt many lessons in the harshest ways. Now we have a chance to evaluate ourselves and the time’s going to test us. We not only have to look at ourselves and our loved ones but at the same time respect and take care of nature and the unfortunate ones too.