The Good Samaritans of Bhubaneswar

In the darkness of the coronavirus crisis, there is a bright light to be found in the acts of kindness shown by ordinary people. Many individuals and groups are distributing food and grocery kits to the needy and feeding street dogs and stray cattle. The COVID-19 crisis is bringing out the best and the worst in human beings.

The authorities have chosen to be cruel in order to be kind with several harsh measures being adopted to halt the rapid spread of the virus. There are many who think they can defy these restrictions, and have at instances been savagely dealt with. In most cases, it is instant flogging of the lockdown breakers. Policemen have been dispatched into temples and mosques to horsewhip those who disobeyed the order to avoid large gatherings. Fortunately, the irrational persons are in the minority. The majority of the people appreciate the enormity of the problem and are willing, even if grudgingly, to give what it takes for them and their families to stay alive.

In these difficult times, there are some who have taken the onus of providing free disinfection services to police stations and distributing sanitizers and masks. Meet Prafulla Swain and his band of good Samaritans. In the wake of the COVID-19 situation, this resident from Bhubaneswar’s Old Town area has started disinfecting police stations and vehicles used by the police. According to Prafulla, police stations see the movement of both police personnel and others. They cannot be shut down like other offices and the cops remain on duty overtime. They also come in close contact with many while discharging their duties of ensuring proper lockdown.

Prafulla’s team of half a dozen youths has so far sanitized police stations in the Old Town area and well as police vehicles. The merry band has been at work with six handheld sprayers, scouring the nooks and crannies of Old Town, educating the locals about proper hygiene, distributing masks and sanitizers and helping families in distress. They arrange rations for those in need, ensuring that nobody goes hungry.

While the rich have opened their coffers and donated liberally for the purpose of tackling the enemy at the door, these ordinary persons with the milk of human kindness are also playing their part, minor or major, in combating the fury of this virus.

It is the right spirit at this time and everyone who can help someone in ways big or small should do so.

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