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In times of corona, Kashmiri pandit vet volunteers to help those in quarantine

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Srinagar, Mar 29: Tough times never last but tough people do. Dr Ramesh Razdan, a veterinarian by profession, proves the truth of this old saying.

The 59-year-old Kashmiri Pandit working as a Joint director in the Animal Husbandry Department, Kashmir was very upset by reading online posts on the problems faced by people in the wake of COVID-19.


Unable to bring peace with the situation, he dialled Additional Commissioner Coronavirus Mitigation Efforts, Kashmir and asked if he could assist him in the current crisis. Lo and behold.

From the morning of March 26, his phone rings off the hook. He is at the forefront of providing relief to the people under quarantine centres designated by the administration.

“I listen to their grievances and try to address their problems at the earliest. My job is to monitor and keep a check on the proper functioning of quarantine centers,” Dr. Ramesh said.

Originally hailing from old city’s Habba Kadal, Dr. Ramesh has an extended family at Janipora in Jammu.

His experience of working in Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bangalore in 1989, has brought him face to face with the deadly the virus of Foot and Mouth Disease in the past.

“The situation is different today but it was an equally challenging task. With this experience in mind, I decided to tread this path,” Dr. Ramesh said.

With a team of seven, the vet dons into the role of a nodal officer, early in the morning and finishes by late in the night. “He begins by preparing a list. This is followed by mobilizing his volunteers, who coordinate the delivery of essentials required by quarantined people,” he said. 

Unmindful of his difficulties, he said it is very tough for everyone especially those who are away from their families. “I get so many calls from those under quarantine. We are in the midst of a gigantic crisis and we all need to chip in and act fast,” he said.

Dr. Ramesh said someone has to come forward in the community and help in easing the problems of people. “One should remember that helping each other in this pandemic will form bonds that will outlast the current crisis and eventually lead to a long- term change,” he said.