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Darjeeling COVID Heroes: Naika Dewan

Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse

At 56, Naika Dewan was the eldest of the team of nurses stationed at Doctor Chang’s Super Specialty Hospital in Siliguri on COVID-19 duty. She has now come back to Darjeeling and quarantined for the required period. Presently, she is back on her regular duty at District Hospital Darjeeling and makes sure to diligently follow all precautions. Here is her story:

In 30 years of my life as a nurse, this was my first ever experience at a responsibility of such magnitude. I was in a dilemma about leaving home during such uncertain times. The anticipation of the worst and worrying for my loved ones at home gripped me with fear initially. I was reluctant to get on board. But I am a nurse and duty must be done. So with proper precaution, I convinced myself to take on this duty.

My duty hours spanned for 8 hours and there were different shifts for morning, evening and night. There were around 80 to 85 COVID-19 patients when our team was at the hospital. The patients were also scared and mostly worried about their recovery. Some remained positive and believed that with proper care, recovery was definitely possible.

"Our job was not only about updating the doctor and providing medicines on time; it was equally about listening to the patients’ worries and trying to solve their problems. There was a lot of self motivation involved which all of us tried to pass on to the patients. We kept encouraging them about recovery and made sure they took their medicines and followed protocol. I was happy to see many recover and go back home during our duties. As scores of people recovered and left, the same number would be admitted every day."

None from the team tested positive for coronavirus. However, two of our sisters from Siliguri did contract the infection. At that time, we were scared for them and also for ourselves. Thankfully, they have recovered now.

My family has been extremely supportive of my decision to serve. Over the few phone calls that I could make during that period they always encouraged me, kept saying that they were proud of the work I did and always advised me to follow precaution strictly.

Darjinc and Mayukh Tea thank nurse Dewan for her compassion and dedication during this pandemic

COVID-19 is a global pandemic. It is important to take precautions for yourselves and those around you. I keep urging everyone to follow protocol, maintain social distancing, wash your hands and try to eat healthy.

Photos by Nawami Gurung

DARJINC and MAYUKH TEA present Darjeeling COVID Heroes, a series to celebrate the unsung, often unnoticed heroes, who have truly served our community during this pandemic. Keep visiting this space for other such motivational and humane stories from the lockdown.

Transcribed by Simran Sharma

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