Residents of an apartment in Chennai celebrated their neighbour, an Air India pilot in home quarantine, as their hero amid discrimination against doctors, nurses, pilots and healthcare workers dealing with coronavirus positive cases. In a touching gesture, the residents of the apartment in Nandambakkam posted a thank you note with a message right underneath the quarantine notice.
Health officials had put Air India pilot Captain Manish Sharma on a 28-day home quarantine after he flew back from Muscat on March 15. Chennai Corporation officials also stuck a quarantine notice at the entrance of his house to inform the building residents of the protocol.
While many communities have been discriminatory asking quarantined residents to move houses, the residents of the apartment showed compassion. Their handwritten note with a drawing of an aeroplane said, "Thank you Captain Manish for all your services. You are our hero".
With another week to go for his quarantine to end, the cheerful pilot said, "It was a beautiful gesture shown by my neighbours".
Anil P Joseph, a resident of the Sreshtha Riverside Apartments, told NDTV, "It's a symbol of our gratitude to Captain Manish Sharma and those on the frontline. On Sunday, we had also acknowledged such heroes among us as the country lit lamps and candles".
On Sunday, many residents from this community of 52 families also recognised the tireless work of another neighbour on the frontline, Dr Kolandaswamy. He heads the Directorate of Medical Services and Rural Health and the residents thanked him with a placard that said: "You are our Healthcare Hero".
Mr Anil Joseph added, "Dr Kolandaswamy spends more than 15 hours on the field. We also have an anaesthetist Dr Krishnaswamy in our community who serves people".
The photo outside Captain Manish Sharma's house has been widely shared on social media.
Suvarna C K, a Chennai resident who has been sharing the post, says, "It's a positive gesture from people - a welcome change amid the coronavirus stigma against doctors, airline employees, health workers and people from the northeastern states."