Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has once again put on her nursing uniform and returned to her old profession in order to motivate young nurses to join the fight against coronavirus. Pednekar has decided to serve as a nurse after visiting the BYL Nair Hospital on Monday where she interacted with the nurses. She will be working from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. every day attending to the COVID-19 patients. Pednekar also talked to second and third-year students of nursing and encouraged them to serve as well. In order to encourage the young lot, she has announced that the best four to five students will be awarded a Mayor Cup.

Our work is dangerous anyway and in the current situation in our country if we run away from our duties then what’s the point?

Talking to SheThePeople, Pednekar said, “Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey had announced that everyone should join the fight against coronavirus. I want to do the work I have known for so many years again which is to nurse the patients. So I willingly decided to do this.”

Also read: Mumbai Hospital Sealed After 26 Nurses And 3 Doctors Test Positive

She revealed that she was getting a lot of calls from the parents of young nurses in the second or third year of the course from across Mumbai, requesting her that their daughters shouldn’t be assigned COVID-19 work. “I told them that their daughters want to become a nurse so it is a challenging job anyway. There are so many patients who are oblivious to the fact that they are HIV positive or have TB etc. So our work is dangerous anyway and in the current situation in our country if we run away from our duties then what’s the point?” said the 58-year-old.

She also told us that initially, the dean has advised her to start her work at the nursing college and understand the system there and work in coordination with the medical officer. “I will work as a coordinator between the students and the higher administration. My work with the COVID-19 patients will be to observe their condition,” said Pednekar who has worked as a nurse for 16 years before joining politics. She began her nursing career when she was 24 years old, in Raigarh, Maharashtra.

I want to do the work I have known for so many years again which is to nurse the patients. So I willingly decided to do this

Talking about how she feels about returning to the job after all these years, she said, “It is in my nature to help people and I am a workaholic. Even when COVID-19 hadn’t spread in India, I used to visit roads and areas in the middle of the night to check the condition. I have been going and checking wherever there is a shortage of water so I have been performing my duties as the first citizen of the city in the same way as well so people know that there is someone who is taking care of them. In the same way as a nurse, I just want to serve people so there isn’t’ much of a difference I feel.”

Also Read: COVID-19: Mumbai enters the phase of community transmission

Pednekar was elected as the Mayor of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation of Mumbai in November last year. She has been a three-time corporator, being elected in 2002, 2012 and 2017.

Before Pednekar’s decision to don the nursing uniform again, the Maharashtra government had urged all the retired healthcare staff to return to work to help in the fight against coronavirus. The spread of the fatal disease is growing at an alarming pace in the city and it had been facing a shortage of healthcare staff.

Many leaders have praised Pednekar’s decision to go back to work as a nurse on Twitter including Shiv Sena Deputy Leader Priyanka Chaturvedi who tweeted, “Duty before self”.

Picture credit- HT/ Kishori Pednekar
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