IMPHAL: “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor since my childhood. I love this profession as it makes me feel proud when I see my patients get over their ailment and see them go home with a smile,” reddens as Dr. Anjuta Mayanglambam responded to my query on why she chose to become a doctor.
Dr. Anjuta volunteered for Covid duty at Delhi’s Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya hospital where she works as a junior doctor, over going back home to Manipur to be in the safety of her home with her near and dear ones.
“A doctor is someone who helps improve patients’ health and restore their faith in the greater system of health care,” she continued. The 29-year old doctor who completed her MBBS from Guangzhou Medical University China has so far taken over 200 throat swabs personally. So far her hospital has tested over 3000 patients for Covid and 30% had come positive. Because she is directly exposed while serving in the Covid ward, Anjuta has taken the Convid test several times over this span of time and fortunately tested negative. This relief comes after enduring hours of breathing with a N-95 mask, donning the stuff PPE gear along gloves and face shield and protective head covers, under strict SOP protocols. A slight slip up could spell doom for this young, unmarried doctor from Manipur’s Kakching district who lives alone in her Delhi’s rented apartment with no one to help doing the usual household chores after hours and hours of strenuous duty at the maximum care Covid ward. The frontline warrior, who decided to become a doctor since she was 7 years old after seeing her mother struggle with heart ailment, admits that she misses the comfort and cares of her home especially when she has to cook, wash, cleans and buy groceries all by herself. In the same breath, she says it is her parents that inspire her to go on and serve her patients despite risking her safety. “My parents have always been my source of inspiration. They’ve always pushed me to give my best and sail through any difficult situation with ease,” Anjuta recalled.
Ashok Mayanglambam who has recovered from a paralyzing stroke misses his youngest daughter and is extremely concerned for her safety. However he has always encouraged his daughter to fulfill the duty and responsibility of a doctor despite personal risk. “Even though I’m worried for her safety, I’m very proud of my daughter serving the nation at this critical time. For me she is a soldier on the battlefield. She has no option but to return home only when the war is won,” asserted Ashok when asked why he is not asking her to come home.
Sobitakumari, Anjuta’s mother who is a heart patient, speaks to her daughter everyday to check on her and keep her spirits up. Even though Anjuta cherishes the daily chat very much, it is her mother who cannot sleep without making the call. It is only to know that her daughter is safe and sound. “She is a fighter and to a fighter one cannot ask to run away from challenging circumstances like this pandemic. All I do is remind her daily to pray to God and not let her guards down on her personal safety protocols,” said the soft-spoken Sobitakumari.
A fighter she is. Anjuta had to supplement her education funds during her MBBS, doing part-time jobs to meet daily needs as she didn’t want to burden her parents who were already struggling to meet her tuition fees. “It was a very hard time for me during my MBBS but because of the strong family support, I’m where I’m today,” affirmed the Covid warrior.
Saluting all her fellow brave hearts who are out there serving the nation overcome the Covid pandemic, Anjuta is confident that India can overcome this pandemic if each and everyone strives together. “In my opinion working in a hospital during these Covid times is very challenging. In these extreme weather conditions, we – the health workers have to wear the PPE for more than 6 hours and sometimes 12-hours and wearing masks all the time is very suffocating. But it is the new normal now that we’ve to get used to. I’m proud that I’m getting this chance to do my part in these harsh conditions even if it is mentally and physically exhausting. If all are sincere we can be victorious,” asserted the Manipuri lady doctor.