Unsung heroes.

Byline: Syed Saadat

'NO matter what we do, nobody loves us,' said a friend, currently serving as a deputy commissioner. I asked him the reason behind his pessimistic statement, and he went on to explain that everyone gets recognition at some stage - doctors, army men, lawyers, philanthropists - but a civil servant like him and many others never get any recognition. He further added: 'In fact, escapists like you who have left the civil service are recognised more for the service they are doing to expose the so-called ills of bureaucracy, but the ones who battle it out by staying to serve the public are never recognised. I have not gone home for the last three days, have not met my kids for almost a week because when I leave home in the morning they have not yet woken up and, when I return, they are already asleep.'

District administration officials are the first line of response of the government in any unusual situation, and they are usually the ones facing the wrath of the general public over government action as well as inaction. Even in the current crisis, many of them have hardly any personal protective equipment yet continue to travel to areas where there have been outbreaks to manage the infection. Such is their selfless commitment that you would not find them complaining.

The SP (operations) of Mardan district as well as an SHO tested positive for Covid-19, which they may have contracted while trying to convince the residents of Manga village to self-quarantine. The villagers were not paying much heed to their warnings, despite the fact that the virus had spread from a single patient to as many as 39 others. It is not easy to convince an apparently healthy individual to exercise caution for the sake of others.

District administration officials are the first line of response.

Similarly, when suspected patients are quarantined in a government facility, they immediately post pictures and videos complaining about inadequate facilities. The good work done by the administration is nullified in a matter of minutes through a viral video that often is not even providing accurate information but is merely an individual opinion.

Many in the media criticising the handling of the Taftan quarantine centre while sitting in the comfort of their studios fail to understand the dynamics of the place; it is uninhibited land with no infrastructure whatsoever. It is very easy to criticise in retrospect, but when the situation was unfolding it was not so...

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