THE GOOD FIGHT

Grazia|May 2020

THE GOOD FIGHT
Meet some of the men and women who’ve stepped up to keep Mumbai going during the coronavirus outbreak
SAADIA S DHAILEY

As the world fights against the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve new frontline heroes. They don’t wear camouflage. These are bravehearts, some with coats, some without, who are on the ground despite great risks.

SHIKHA MALHOTRA, ACTRESS AND NURSING OFFICER

Until the night of lockdown, Shikha was an actress. Her last film – Kaanchli, with Sanjay Mishra – released only a few weeks before we were besieged by Covid-19. “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nation-wide lockdown, I strongly felt the need to do something. That night, I brought out my nursing degree and certificates, and took off in the morning to join a hospital as a nurse. Two days later, on March 27th, Shikha joined the nursing team at the Covid ward of the Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Municipal Hospital and is working there pro bono. “My mother is a senior nurse in Delhi. She’s on Covid-19 duty and is due to retire in July. This is for her,” says Shikha. It took a while for the nursing staff to warm up to her. “Initially, they couldn’t fathom why an actress would want to step out and risk herself every day,” she shares. Now they rely on her for tricky procedures. She’s also a favourite of the patients and has forged many bonds meant to last beyond this pandemic. “My first patient was Mohammed, a seven-month-old. When all this is over, he is among the first people I’ll be visiting to give a warm hug,” says the 25-year-old.

KIRAN DIGHAVKAR, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, G /NORTH WARD

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May 2020