Think of Covid-19 patients, and faces overwhelmed with gloom, terror and hopelessness come to mind. But not here, in Covid ward 3 of SKIMS Medical College Hospital Srinagar. Here life is abuzz with activity. Thanks to Manzoor Ahmad , a driver in the security wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police, who pumped life into the gloomy atmosphere.
Manzoor tested positive for Covid-19 some 20 days back and was immediately shifted to this hospital. "When I was brought here,I found these young people; almost all asymptomatic but depressed, clung to their beds, hopeless. I thought I need to do something. I know martial arts and I started putting them to exercises and things started changing," he said. The doctors encouraged him and soon he started regular exercises for all patients, men and women, he says.
The patients responded well. Not only exercises , he is always there for every possible help. Many patients were discharged within days of his arrival. A group of 15 from his ward were discharged after testing negative last week. They are at their homes now with their loved ones, but many of them would never forget Manzoor Ahmad who brought back hope of life to them.
Peer Zafarullah, a shopkeeper from Sumbal area of North Kashmir, who was the first to be discharged, describes Manzoor as a real hero. He said, "When I tested positive I had lost hopes of seeing my family again. I was in shock and depression." He added ,"Being diabetic, I knew I am more vulnerable, but Manzoor came like an angel of life. He taught us how to live and fight with an enemy within our body."
Not only the patients, the hospital authorities remember him as a rare patient. Principal of SKIMS Medical College, Dr Reyaz Untoo said, "Manzoor is a wonderful warrior. He helped the patients to come out of shock and pumped positive energy into the gloomy wards of our hospital which ultimately helped them fight this wicked virus."
Manzoor too tested negative on Sunday and was later discharged from the hospital, leaving behind his infectious positivity, courage and love for life and humanity for other patients to follow.