For Habeeb Mohammed, a 36-year-old butcher in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram, work goes on from midnight till 8 in the morning after which he dedicates his time to helping the district's Covid task force in their relief work. His Covid relief work involves sanitising the houses of families with positive patients.
Wearing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit, Mr Mohammed sanitises the compound, the gate and the vehicle the family travels in. He also sanitises the entire house once the family finishes their 14-day quarantine period.
In his endeavour, he is joined by some volunteers of the task force who work under the district collector.
Shameer, a beneficiary of Mr Mohammed's services said, “Since we tested positive, we had informed volunteer Habeeb who sanitised the house compound and will sanitise the inside of the house, after our quarantine period is over.”
Mr Mohammed also sanitises the corridors and rooms of schools that have been turned into relief camps for coastline dwellers with damaged homes. He said, “I first bought a battery machine with my own money. I sanitised homes, mosques, shops of people, Covid test centres at Bheemapally, Poonthura, Pallipirav areas. And later, as expenses mounted, locals, well-wishers collected Rs 20,000 for me.”
During the first wave, Mr Mohammed spent from his own pocket for his Covid-related work. He bought 100 litres of bleaching and sanitisation liquid and some basic equipment. Once the locals and various groups helped him with Rs. 20,000, he used it to buy bigger and better equipment and to meet other expenses.
He says his diminishing income amid repeated lockdowns and growing financial constraints saw him missing in action during the second wave. But now, he has assured the counsellor and the local groups of resuming work once again.