Pulwama, May-8, The Kashmir Radar: In the early morning hours of yet another long and exhausting day shift, Tabassum Ara doesn’t exactly remember the last holiday she enjoyed with her family.
Tired eyes, marks on her face from the personal protective equipment she wears for work. Depicts “how it’s going.”
Very reluctant to talk to us, Tabassum lives in a village namely Payir, about four Kilometers away from the district headquarters.
“I work as a Female Multipurpose Health Worker in District Hospital Pulwama and soon after the vaccination programme was rolled out, the hospital administration assigned me the job of a “vaccination officer.” Said Tabassum.
Since January 16, Tabassum has singlehandedly administered more than 6000 vaccines till the last count.
“All that worries me is the condition of my ailing mother at home, she is diabetic and prone to COVID infection, once I go home, it takes me two to three hours to sanitize myself, take off the PPE just to ensure that my mother doesn’t get the infection.”
“Most of the people who come to get the jab are not screened for COVID-19, you never know who you are administering the vaccine to, everytime there remains a risk.” Says Tabassum while entering the number of number of vaccines she has administered in the diary she keeps.
Tabassum said, she’s exhausted by the intensity of her work but in addition to my official duties what keeps me motivated is the blessings I receive from the elderly and the disabled whom I visit their home and administer the vaccine because they are in no position to visit the vaccination centre.
Tabassum also wishes those who don’t take the virus seriously could see what it does to the patients she cares for in addition to the vaccination.