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Heart to heart at Tikri’s Pind California

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By Sukant Deepak

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) A typical day for him starts at 5 a.m. and ends at 2 a.m. After all there are check-ups, looking after in-house patients, and media interviews. Not to mention, several celebrities who drop in for a quick hello.

Swaiman Singh, a cardiologist from New Jersey who flew back to India as soon as the farmers’ agitation started more than a month back set up base at Tikri as a one-man army to treat the protesters in face of Covid and cardiac emergencies in face of bitter cold, now boasts of a team of more than 30 volunteer doctors at any given day and around 2,000 people comprising paramedic staff and nurses.

“It has been a pleasant surprise seeing how the medical fraternity from across the country has come forward to help me. From doctors volunteering here to people from different arts of India sending in supplies, it has been a heartening experience. When I came here, I was all alone,” said this MS qualified doctor who is now leading the ‘5 Rivers Heart Association’ that has set up the night shelter ‘Pind California’.

For someone who has spent the last 24 years in the US, he just smiles when asked if the long break would affect his career back in the states. “Well, I did receive a call that I could lose my job.”

But for him it is important to be here. “There are certain things that should not be elaborated. I am needed here right now, so I am here. I won’t leave because there are not enough doctors around here to look after people, especially the elderly who are prone to cardiac problems.”

Stressing that he would stay put as long as the agitation carries around, Singh feels that ‘satisfaction’ is not really the word to define what he feels while doing what he is doing. “Frankly, I should not be here. My place is in the catheterization laboratory. I should not have to do this. But then everyone knows who is responsible.”

(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at sukant.d@ians.in)

–IANS

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