It is time we ask why can’t we value our nurses like defence personnel in the war against COVID-19? Even before the pandemic hit, those in the nursing profession in India were underpaid, over-worked, treated with too little respect. As a result, it is critically under-staffed across the country.
Now, as millions of Indians are reeling under the pressure of the second wave of the pandemic, those nurses are the ones helping save lives. Nurses are the ones who are administering vaccine shots. They are making visits to patients in home isolation. As a result, it is putting them on the brink of physical, emotional and psychological breakdown.
To understand what nurses are experiencing, and how we can support and strengthen them, journalist Raghu Karnad speaks to Usha Krishna Kumar, president of the Nurses‘ Welfare Association of India, to learn about the most important people in India right now, and what they need from us.