Crescent Kashmir

A casual sanitation worker, Mohammad Bittu is first choice of authorities for Covid ward duty at Ramban Hospital

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‘His commitment and kind heart makes him distinctive’

RAMBAN, MAY 28 : On May 10 when the sister (eldest of 8 siblings) of Mohammed Bittu, Sanitation Worker, in District Hospital, Ramban died, he had to immediately return from his native village after her burial because he had to rush back to attend his duty in the Covid Isolation Ward, which he handles single handed.

Mohammed Bittu, 32 is posted in the Covid Isolation ward of the Trauma Hospital Ramban and is entrusted to maintain cleanliness day and night, besides other petty chores.

In his 9th year of service, this young man has been specially chosen, out of his 17 other colleagues for this responsible but hectic duty. The reason is his commitment towards his duty and indomitable spirit for humanitarian service; this is what others think about him.

A casual employee working since 2013 now getting a meager salary of Rs.5,000 per month doesn’t feel that his remuneration is totally incommensurate to the toil put in by him but instead feels “serving humanity and saving a life is a great duty even if it risks one’s life,”.

Staying in an adjoining room of the Covid Isolation Ward, he cleans and mops the Ward and the attached bathrooms four times a day.

In addition to this, he has to do other jobs in the ward like bringing Oxygen cylinders, medicines, safety kits etc for the use in the Ward. He eats his breakfast; lunch and dinner in the Hospital canteen as he doesn’t get time to cook.

While talking about risk involved in his duty, Bittu said “The fact that Medical Superintendent Sir has reposed faith in me among  my other colleagues and is confident that I can meet his expectations carefully in this crisis, is itself a great reward for me. Moreover, I get immense satisfaction that due to my efforts some ailing person gets some comfort and his life is protected”.

“My direct contact with patients in the Covid ward doesn’t worry me because Allah is giving me courage to serve people and keep going with the same spirit. As everyone among us is fighting his/her own battle against this  pandemic, I too am fighting my own by taking all precautions during my sanitation duty,”   Bittu added.

“Though I wear a PPE kit while on duty, yet I run a risk of getting infected  amid the Covid patients. This (working in the Ward) not only risks my life but also my wife and my 3 young children who stay separately in a rented accommodation in Ramban” he said.

Rest of his family members including parents reside in village Ganote about 23 Km from the Hospital whom he go to meet once in a blue moon.

 Bittu, like many villagers in India, has come to Ramban town with the  hope to educate his children.   “life is very tough in terms of earning but I want to provide quality education to my three lovely children, so that they can choose the  career of their choice” he said with a beaming smile.

He proudly appreciated his wife for managing the kitchen and other requirements of life on a meager income.

“Bittu has been working 24×7 with utmost dedication and sincerity and taking good care of the cleanliness and sanitation around the patients. I have specially chosen him for this job as he knows how to handle the oxygen cylinders and Medical Gas Pipeline System (MGPS) in the Covid Isolation Ward besides other petty gadgets in case of emergency. He is very obedient and very rarely goes to meet his family,” said Dr. Abdul Hamid Zargar, Medical Superintendent, District Hospital, Ramban.

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