- "I'm very patriotic," said Sanjay Meriya
- "I can battle this way (as a doctor)," he added
- He began work last month as a medical volunteer
As India's financial capital Mumbai battled a growing number of coronavirus cases, local DJ Sanjay Meriya set aside his turntable and dusted off a long-unused medical degree in order to help out. Meriya, 30, known as The Spindoctor in Mumbai music circles, began work last month as a medical volunteer after spotting a government newspaper ad asking for help. He has chiefly been visiting a slum in one of Mumbai's worst-hit suburbs, clad in a protective suit and gloves, to instruct local residents about the precautions they should take to ward off the coronavirus.
"I'm very patriotic. I can battle this way (as a doctor)," Meriya, who signed up as a volunteer for at least three months, told Reuters. Mumbai accounts for more than 33,000 of India's 158,000 cases of the coronavirus, making it the worst-hit city.
Really want to thanks @mumbaipolice for working hand in hand with us ! They work 8-12 hrs a day in killing heat and trying to convince the most stubborn population to stay home ! I am always a fan of Mumbai Police and thanks for making Mumbai the best city for us. #covid #covidwarriors #corona #doctor This pic is also featured in in @my_bmc new awareness video big up to my man @jd_gullygang #safemumbai #lockdown #mumbai
With government hospitals short of beds and health officials overworked, volunteers like Meriya are all the more important. Meriya began to dabble in DJ-ing as a hobby at around the age of 20 while studying for his medical degree, but said it then "took over me" - much to his family's dismay.
"They hated it. They still hate it," he said of his decision to devote himself to being a DJ.
Although worried about his potential exposure to the virus, Meriya's family is thrilled to see him back in medicine. "They now have a lot to share with all our relatives, if you know what I mean when it comes to Indian families," he said.