“We are like shadows. People don’t recognizes us of our works.” Stated by one of the Nagaland Police personnel as the Dimapur Town Hostels Welfare Forum (DTHWF) visited one of the police station in Dimapur on June 20th2020 to thank them of their tremendous work to keep us safe. From train station to bus station, from quarantine centres to every corner of the town, Nagaland Police officials and personnel are at the front risking their lives. Yet, many of us fail to appreciate and give enough credit for their sacrifices. We could feel the same feeling as we visited the Traffic control room. Traffic policemen, in white uniform with sunburned faces, returning from their shift, looking exhausted because of the dry and humid weather on one hand and the chaotic traffic on the other. One of the traffic policemen said, ‘we are not perfect but we are also trying our best to make everyone comfortable. Sadly, many people are not cooperative with us and the traffic rules, making it more difficult for everyone.” Listening to their stories made us more aware of the traffic chaos that they face every day and how easily we blame them rather than cooperating with them. We then visited the NST bus station and we were deeply dismayed by the fact that NST bus drivers, ambulance drivers and private bus drivers are one of the most neglected and ignored frontline workers. It is these drivers, who stays away from home for months so that they can ferry both domestic and national passengers from one quarantine centre to another. With bare minimum facilities and comfort, they risk their lives transporting both positive and negative Covid-19 passengers. One of the drivers told us that, hardly any NGO or civil organization have visited them. He is right because we fail to see the sacrifices he makes in his line of work. They no longer stay with their families but in a hotel, they drive hundred of miles in the pathetic road, unsure if his passengers are free of Covid-19. We are too quick to assume that he is simply doing his job because he is paid for it. Our visit ended with fellowships and home cooked meals prepared by DTHWF executive members and volunteers, courtesy of free-will donations from members of DTHWF. We returned back to our own homes and loved ones, leaving them behind to continue with the task of keeping us safe and protected. Dimapur Town Hostels Welfare Forum members salute every unsung frontline workers mentioned here and those we are yet to be acknowledged. It is because of your selfless sacrifices that we continue to enjoy our lives.
Dr. Imna Imchen
General Secretary DTHWF
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