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Exemplary leadership during a phase of crisis: Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma

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The past few months have been appalling for the prodigious world we live in, with the threat of the deadly Covid-19 virus looming everywhere. Most of us are in the process of adhering to the guidelines made public by the governments of different countries and simultaneously a colossal campaign has been undertaken by the different governments, as witnessed, to publicly spread awareness regarding the fatality of the virus and the precautions to be taken while battling this grungy virus. We have always been taught that every dark phase shows us certain positive morals as well and in this fight in which we are currently engaged in, one particular leader, amongst many others, have reminded us of such positive morals making us more and more optimistic in this fight with time. Affirmatively, this leader is none other than the honourable Minister Health and Family Welfare of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.

On the bright side, almost the whole of Assam including many in this astoundingly large country with it’s record-breaking population have been encouraged by the work that Dr. Sarma have been putting in to keep his fellow countrymen safe. Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has always determinedly worked for the welfare of the common people which aimed at improving their standard of living, clocking in sleepless nights without much paying any heed to his own personal health. As such the inhabitants of Assam have always found a connection with this publicly elected and highly revered Minister of the current State Government and this was clearly seen during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections where thousands of supporters and sympathisers thronged the streets of different districts of the state, dancing to the tunes of the campaign song of the ruling party. However, the prevailing situation is, in all its extremity, totally divergent. At a time when people are losing their hopes and are weakening in this battle; Dr. Sarma brings the fighting zeal back into the people, thereby taking everyone together in this fight. As a matter of fact, the frontline fighters of the state in this battle against the mentioned grungy virus have expressed that it is the determination and the combativeness of the Health Minister which have kept them going with renewed vigour, agility and alertness.

An aphoristic article as this would fall short while commending the various works done by the State Health Minister while battling Covid-19 and at the same time making people aware of the precautions to be taken while staying back at their home accepting and adhering to the norms of the lockdown. From visiting and examining the various medical colleges and treatment facilities prepared to accommodate those infected of this virus throughout the length and breadth of the state to holding video conferences with the authorities tasked to maintain the law and order and press conferences with various media houses to educate the public with the ongoing proceedings and further on to examine the processes of screening at various airports, Dr. Sarma has explored all the options at hand. A special mention needs to be made of all the labour and hard work put in to convert the illustrious Sarusajai stadium into a treatment facility accommodating 700 beds in it. In the words of Abhineet Mishra, a professional stage artist, “When China made a 1000 bed hospital in a week, Indians marvelled at their ability to execute and build. Assam is building with zero recorded cases so far. We are so caught up in criticising governments; sometimes their good work goes amiss. Well done Assam Government.”

Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma’s courageous and determined work has inspired many private companies and businesspersons alike to donate sufficient funds to lighten the burden undertaken by the State Government. Moreover, Dr. Sarma is leaving no stone unturned to fight the rising hurdles as the Minister himself tweets, “We are planning 5 pre-fabricated hospitals in collaboration with private companies to meet this emergency situation. The project might cost Rs 40-45 crore, which shall be met with the help of donations from govt agencies, MPs and public state resources.” The manner in which Dr. Sarma is tenaciously working during this tough phase, paying attention to every minute detail, upgrading the medical infrastructures by setting up numerous isolation wards and ICUs along with ventilators needs to be appreciated and applauded with utmost sincerity.

We are indeed fortunate to have such a tall leader amidst us who does not back down from challenges which this catastrophe has imposed, he is taking all the accountability and standing along the frontline fighters, joining their fight, without any hesitation. However, it pains me and indubitably many others that certain irresponsible people from amidst our society have flouted all the lockdown norms thereby ruining all the diligent efforts of the Minister and the whole state altogether. Just when gradually the whole of Assam was hoping that this state would emerge victorious and unscathed from the deadly virus, the Tabhlighi Jamaat incident totally changed and overturned the whole scenario leading to a surge in Covid-19 positive cases within the state.

The events of the past couple of days, irresponsible people flouting the lockdown norms and instances of misbehaving with our frontline fighters, deliberately makes me question, do we at all deserve such an efficient and hard-working leader amongst us who is deliberately putting himself in harm’s way trying to help us all? It comprehensively becomes our duty and responsibility to help the government, the medical staff, the policemen and the others in this arduous quest in each and every way possible without flouting the norms laid down for our own safety and this must be the sole approach for paying our debts to the frontline fighters. While winding up this concise piece, I would cordially like to thank our honourable Health Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma from my end and irrefutably from the whole of Assam for continuing this battle against Covid-19 selflessly while inspiring others at the same time. Genuinely, words fall short to denote the sense of responsibility and accountability that Dr. Sarma has shown towards the whole state of Assam.

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