Arch Bishop Leo Cornelio and others attend prayer meet on eve of Christmas in Bhopal on Thursday.
Arch Bishop Leo Cornelio and others attend prayer meet on eve of Christmas in Bhopal on Thursday.
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BHOPAL: Service to humanity is the best way to show devotion to God. This is what has inspired Christian nurses in the city to serve people that were hit hard during the Coronavirus pandemic.

All those nurses are on duty in Covid wards of the hospitals. Therefore, they will celebrate Christmas with their family maintaining social distancing norms. They are not going to visit church to keep others safe, besides.

They told Free Press that they had faced many problems. They had to keep away from their families because of isolation, but they are happy and proud of serving the sick. They are just doing what Father Jesus wants them to do. Excerpts:

Gloria Rani Mascarenhas with family
Gloria Rani Mascarenhas with family
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Gloria Rani Mascarenhas: God has created this world. He controls it. He has given us the wisdom to produce vaccines and He will protect us from its side-effects. This year, I will seek blessings from God to help humanity overcome the challenge of Covid-19. This Christmas is different for everyone and even more for people like us who come in contact with Covid-19 patients. We have to strictly maintain physical distancing even from our family members. There is a Douglas church near my residence. We used to organise cultural events and feast on church premises on every Christmas. But not this time. I am happy that God has chosen me for this work. It gives me immense satisfaction and peace of mind.

Namita Pani with family
Namita Pani with family
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Namita Pani: Every year, I used to begin preparations for Christmas from 15 December. But this year, I have just done some shopping for the kids. My husband had turned positive in November so we are even more cautious. I have baked a cake for the children. I have decided not to visit the church because working amid Covid patients I may well be a carrier of the virus. Jesus is both my inspiration and motivation. He had sacrificed his life for us. He had worked selflessly for the poor, for the needy. So why shouldn’t we? I will miss Santa Claus this year.

Ruchi David with family
Ruchi David with family

Ruchi David: I have made no preparations for Christmas. I didn’t have the time. This year, there was no carol singing in homes. In churches, too, there will be no handshakes and no embraces. At home, I have to keep away from my daughter. She is four. She has got so used to Covid protocols that one day she asked that when Santa Claus comes visiting, would he be wearing a mask. We will be celebrating the festival within the family. There are problems, but this is our profession. When I set out from my house for the hospital I feel proud that I am helping people suffering from pain. Jesus has taught us: Service to humanity is the best way to serve God.

Arpana Spencer with kids
Arpana Spencer with kids

Arpana Spencer: I have made whatever preparations I could amid my duties. I am on duty in the Covid ward from 11 am to 6 am. Sometimes, I am also deployed for collecting samples of suspected patients. I won’t be visiting the church to pray this Christmas. Why should I put other devotees at risk? It is the Almighty who gives us the strength to do our work. When I see the suffering of the patients, I often forget my own problems. I am the mother of a three-year-old boy. But I cannot even touch him. We are supposed to remain in isolation for seven days after the end of every cycle of duty in Covid wards. It is painful but I don’t mind it.

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