Corona Pandemic has turned the world upside down. Everything has changed. We are witnessing a war against a micro-organism holding to ransom the lives of the most advanced species on this planet. People throughout this planet are trying to cope with a near apocalyptic pandemic, whose scale and magnitude have never been experienced. We are quite bewildered by the tragedies of the most advanced nations that have reached the pinnacle of material progress complete with highly evolved and competent healthcare system and other luxuries of modern life. We in India, one of the most populous countries in the world with teeming millions have braved a three-week lockdown and social isolation followed by ongoing Lockdown 2.0. If we stop moving, together we can end this virus is what we have come to learn from our experience of a month of lockdown. In such times, role of few people, who we often ignore become very crucial.

Everyone has recognised the role of the frontline workers like the doctors, healthcare professionals, Police, Safai Karamchari, Civil Society and Media during these trying times. They are fighting this disease on the frontlines and are putting their lives at risk to keep us safe. The coronavirus pandemic has brought much in this world to a temporary standstill, and for those seeking to protect themselves and their loved ones, life in these times can feel frozen. But if there is one thing that ought to inspire confidence and deliver comfort, it is the knowledge that, whatever changes the pandemic may bring to our lives, the hard work of our doctors, nurses and others who support them in this fight continues. One such often ignored service is that of the drivers.

Drivers play a crucial role in our movement today. Without them, no movement of equipments, medical supplies, patients, health care professionals, essential items, policymakers would be possible. In fact, they are like the lyricist in a song who is often ignored while people only remember the actors and singer. The drivers silently perform the role which goes thankless. The drivers help us get going and making essentials reach so that we can be home and safe. At KIIT and KISS, we are very grateful to all the drivers who have stayed back, work beyond the call of duty and duty hours and helped up do our bit for the society. We have around 400 drivers of which ten of them have stayed here at KIIT without going home and helped us in all movement to the government offices, COVID hospital in Bhubaneswar and Phulbani, Baripada and Bolangir, to places where relief is being distributed, feed the stray animals and the list is endless. We have also taken care of them by making them aware of the good practices – washing, sanitising and social distancing. If they are safe, we are safe. We courageously go out of comfort zones in times of distress because of the confidence that our driver instills in us.

My message for all the drivers at KIIT and KISS in English and Odia:

You all have been amazing, as always. You have not gone to your homes and worked beyond duty and duty hours at this time of crisis. You have made the relief distribution, providing food to the stray animals, provision of essentials all over Odisha possible. We could not have gone through this without your smiling faces, utmost dedication and inputs of how we can handle it better and steering our lives during these times. You have made all our movement possible. Thank you!

ଆମକୁ ନିତିଦିନିଆ ଜୀବନଚର୍ଯ୍ୟାରେ ସହଯୋଗ କରୁଥିବା ଅନେକଙ୍କୁ ଆମେ ପ୍ରାୟ ଉପେକ୍ଷା କରିଥାଉ। କିନ୍ତୁ ଆଜି ଏହି ମହାମାରୀ #କରୋନା ବିପତ୍ତି ବେଳେ ଆମେ ଆମ #କିଟ୍ ଓ କିସ୍ ପାଇଁ କାର୍ଯ୍ୟରତ ସମସ୍ତ ଡ୍ରାଇଭରଙ୍କ ଅକ୍ଲାନ୍ତ ପରିଶ୍ରମ ତଥା ନିଷ୍ଠାପର ସେବା ମନୋଭାବକୁ ଚିହ୍ନି ସେମାନଙ୍କୁ ମୋର ସାଧୁବାଦ ଜଣାଉଛୁ।

ଏହି ମହାମାରୀ ବେଳେ ଯେତେବେଳେ ସମସ୍ତେ ନିଜନିଜ ଘରଭିତରେ ପରିବାର ସହ ଗୃହାବଦ୍ଧଅଛନ୍ତି ସେତେବେଳେ ଆମ ଡ୍ରାଇଭରମାନେ ନିଜ ଜୀବନକୁ ବାଜିଲଗେଇ ରିଲିଫ ଓ ଅନ୍ୟାନ୍ୟ ଦାୟିତ୍ବପୂର୍ଣ୍ଣ କାର୍ଯ୍ୟରେ ବ୍ୟସ୍ତ ଅଛନ୍ତି। ସେ ରାସ୍ତା କଡର ଭୋକିଲା ଗୋରୁ, ଷଣ୍ଢ କି କୁକୁର ହୁଅନ୍ତୁ ଅବା ଜଂଗଲ ଛାଡ଼ି ସହର ମୁହାଁ ମାଙ୍କଡ଼। ସେ କେଉଁ ବସ୍ତିର ଅସହାୟ ଗରିବ ପରିବାର ହୁଅନ୍ତୁ ଅବା ସୁଦୂର ଚନ୍ଦ୍ରଗିରିର ତିବ୍ବତୀୟ ଶରଣାର୍ଥୀ ଶିବିର ସବୁଠି ଆମ ଡ୍ରାଇଭରମନେ ସେବାଯୋଗାଇବାରେ ଆଗଭର।

ତୁମମାନଙ୍କ ହସହସ ମୁହଁ ଓ ଯେକୋୖଣସି ଆହ୍ୱାନକୁ ବେଖାତିର କରି ସେବା ଯୋଗାଇବାର ଅଦମ୍ୟ ସାହସ ଯୋଗୁଁ ଆମକୁ ଆଜି କରୋନା ମୁକାବିଲା ନେଇ ଅନେକ ସଫଳତାର ଶ୍ରେୟ ମିଳିଛି। ଧନ୍ୟବାଦ!

We can learn a lot from the drivers- who work silently with a smile and help in a big way in our battle against COVID while facing the risk, staying away from the family and children and becoming the part of all the work with dignity and sincere involvement.