Published: 23rd March 2020
This diffabled lab tech in Kerala got home after four days of testing COVID-19 samples and this is how people reacted
Prajith M M is a lab assistant in Government Medical College, Ernakulam which is set to be a full-fledged coronavirus treatment centre
A thin young man, dressed in a half-sleeve brick-coloured shirt and a pair of black pants, walked through a dingy lane to reach his house. As his mildly tilted, slow steps move closer to his house, he hears loud cheers and clapping. He is surprised, taken aback for a moment. Slowly, a shy smile appears on his clean-shaven face. He raises both his hands, gestures 'thank you' and enters his house.
They could be merely heeding the PM's call to make some noise for the men and women who are tirelessly putting their lives on the line — or they could be doing it because they know exactly what the differently-abled man had achieved. This was on March 23, a day after the Janta Curfew day.
If you haven't seen this video yet, the man in question is Prajith M M, a lab assistant at the Government Medical College Ernakulam, which is soon to be transformed into a COVID-19 treatment centre. A differently abled 29-year-old from Kochi, Prajith had gotten back home on Monday, after working in the hospital continuously for four days. A friend of Prajith’s had posted the video of him being cheered on by his neighbours and it is winning hearts on the internet.
“This was a very heartwarming and lovely gesture. I honestly did not expect any of this. This is a great appreciation for people like me,” says Prajith. Responding to how many people across the country had clapped and cheered, in appreciation of the medical professionals who are working day and night, fighting the pandemic. “While I thanked them, I also told them how important it is to maintain social distancing,” he says.
But why does he brave Corona to do what he does day in and day out? “I live with my mother, father and younger sister. They are very worried for my health and me and have asked me many times to not go to work. But I love my job and this is something that I signed up for,” he says. At the same time, Prajith admits that the times are scary. “COVID-19 is a deadly virus and we have to test the blood samples of people who may be affected by it. There are chances that we will have to work in the isolation wards too. That is a scary thought,” he says.
Prajith however, tells us that he is equipped with all the safety gear. He shows us a photograph of his inside the lab, clad in his protective outfit and gear. A board behind him reads: ‘COVID-19: You need caution, not fear.’
And that's something Prajith has plenty of.