APD Foundation Proposes Government Recognition and Compensation for ‘COVID SAVIORS’

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Families of Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics and Civic Officials who die in the war against Covid-19 should be protected under a special scheme.

Mangaluru: City-based APD Foundation has mooted the idea of giving state recognition and compensation for ‘COVID Saviors’, namely healthcare workers and civic officials who die in the line of duty in the war against Coronavirus pandemic. This suggestion was formally proposed by Abdullah A. Rehman, Founder & CEO, APD Foundation in a letter addressed to Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and Shri B. S. Yediyurappa, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka on July 22, 2020.

In the letter, Mr Rehman asserts that COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread devastation in the country and played havoc in the lives of the common man. In this scenario, the healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses and paramedics, along with civic officials, have emerged as the saviours of the suffering humanity. They expose themselves to great personal risk while treating COVID patients. Many of them catch the infection, and a few of them have died. Such persons deserve to be recognized by the government for their supreme sacrifice.

Elaborating the rationale behind the proposal, the letter draws comparisons with the practice of soldiers who die on the battlefield being glorified as ‘MARTYRS’. The slain soldiers are decorated posthumously with medals and titles of honour. Their families are provided with generous cash compensation so that the future of their widows, children and parents are safeguarded. They are provided with the allotment of land, lucrative business opportunities like petrol pump/gas agency or reservation in government jobs for their spouse and children.

The letter suggests that healthcare workers and civic officials who succumb in the line of duty should also be similarly honoured. “Hence I propose that healthcare workers like doctors, nurses and paramedics who die while treating COVID patients should be recognized as ‘COVID SAVIORS’. Civic officials who are working for the cause should also be included in this scheme. Generous compensation should be paid to their families so that their future welfare is ensured as if they were alive,” Mr Rehman has written.

The suggestion has been made in the wake of news reports that the Odisha State Government has announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs and state honours for healthcare workers who die on COVID duty. Similarly, the French government has announced a major increase in salary to its healthcare workers. In the same manner, India too can provide optimum welfare to its health workers and set an example on the world stage.

“Though COVID pandemic is likely to be a temporary phenomenon, there is a need to recognize the service of those who are helping society to overcome this grave crisis. They inspire confidence in the hearts of the common people in the same manner as soldiers in uniform do. Hence I urge you to accept the suggestions made herein and announce the same at the earliest,” Mr Rehman concludes in his letter.

Copies of the letter have also been sent to Shri Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, Mangalore, Shri D. Vedavyas Kamath, MLA, Mangalore and Smt. Sindhu B. Rupesh, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, DK District for their information and follow up action.

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