Medical professionals and health workers in Assam have taken the challenge of fighting the coronavirus head-on, and are now also helping COVID-19 patients and their family members cope with anxiety and fear in the most assured way of relieving the stress. They are dancing with the patients and their families to the hugely popular folk music ‘Dhamail', an ode to the relationship of Radha and Lord Krishna. A video of some healthcare staff in full protective gear dancing to the folk music at a designated COVID-19 hospital in Silchar town of Barak Valley has been widely shared on social media.
Life in an isolation ward is dull and surrounded by apprehension and concern. In such a situation, the initiative by Dr. Rajat Deb, who led his team including Dr. Juri Sarma, sister Shakti, and cleaner Amit Chetri, to the SM Dev Civil Hospital in Cachar district, which has one of the highest caseloads in the state, is laudable.
The video shows the medical staff clapping their hands and shaking their legs as some COVID-19 patients and their family members join them. The Dhamail music plays in the background. First, the men start dancing by dancing in a circle, and soon women, too, join the medical staff.
For a short while, all COVID patients and their family members appeared relieved and stress-free. Everyone wore a mask as a measure of precaution, the video showed.
Dhamail, also known as Dhamal, is a form of Bengali folk music and dance that is said to have originated in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. In India, it is practiced in areas dominated by Bengalis influenced by the Sylheti culture such as Cachar, parts of Shillong, Karimganj, and Hailakandi districts (Barak valley) of Assam as well as parts of Tripura.
In Cachar district, between April 1, 2021, and June 6, 2021, there have been 12,873 COVID-19 cases. Of these, 9,462 people have been discharged from various hospitals and 121 have died. The active cases stand at 3,290.
Assam has recorded over 4.34 lakh coronavirus cases since the outbreak early last year.