Mumbai, the worst affected city in India by COVID-19, has had several policemen also being infected by the coronavirus. The police have been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic, but they have not limited themselves to just that. They are also coming forward to donate plasma and save lives.
Seven men from Khar police station were felicitated in Mumbai for their service and going beyond the call of duty to donate plasma.
"I am very proud that my staff who tested positive came forward and said that 'sir, we are doing our duty but we want to save lives and donate plasma'. Then our friend from Executive Enclave, Rahul, got in touch with us and approached us and he took the initiative and got the procedure done," senior police inspector of Khar Gajanan Kabdule told NDTV.
"I am proud to serve in Mumbai Police and Khar police station is the first to start plasma donation in Mumbai Police. Others also want to donate. They want to do their duty and save lives as well," Mr Kabdule said.
These policemen were honoured in a small ceremony with no guests for donating plasma by the Rotary Club of Bombay Seacoast and Inner Wheel Club of Bombay Seacoast. This group has worked to provide protective equipment during the pandemic and is now campaigning for plasma donation as well.
Seven constables who donated plasma were presented with a token of gratitude so that others are also encouraged to donate plasma. Among those who donated plasma was Bhiwaji Parab, who lost his mother to COVID-19.
Mr Parab is back on duty after recovering. He said he wants to save lives as he knows what families losing their loved ones are going through. He has now donated plasma at Mumbai's Nair Hospital.
"In the course of doing our duty, we had to meet people and we had to set up checkpoints. We caught the infection and fell ill. I fell ill and because of me my mother also fell ill. She was aged and she died. I felt bad but after I recovered and rejoined duty. At that time I heard about plasma donation. We are there to serve people and save lives and I want to ask people to donate plasma and I thank NDTV for creating awareness," Mr Parab said.
Citizens groups are using these examples to encourage more people to come forward and donate plasma.
"We have always heard Mumbai Police is the best in the world and today they have proved it again. Not only are they leaving their houses to go out there and maintain law and order in the city but also they are falling sick and the minute they are getting better they are going and donating plasma," said Anjali Chhabria, author, psychiatrist and psycho-therapist, who is also associated with the effort.
Rahul Rohra, a COVID-19 survivor who organised the event, told NDTV, "Very few people came forward and many people were hesitant to do so. I made one phone call to the local police station's senior officer and he immediately had seven policemen ready to donate plasma. I was so proud of them and that's why I organised this felicitation."