Father’s Day 2020: Stories of brave fathers 'stayed away' from kids for corona duty

BHOPAL: The corona pandemic has compelled many a man in the city to stay away from children as they were busy fighting the disease and helping people.

Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday. Free Press talked to some frontline corona warriors in the city to know how they felt staying away from their children for nearly three months.

They could barely play with their children and touch them due to fear of infection. Most of them said it was painful. For them, the call of duty was more important.

Daughters understand better

Dr Parag is the father of three-year-old Pranika but he has not touched her for more than three months now. Being a chest physician, he has been deployed in the ICU where corona patients are treated. For first two months of lockdown, he was self quarantined at his home but now he lives in guest house of the hospital. He hasn’t seen his daughter for 15 days. He misses her a lot because he used to play with her and take her out for walks. Also, he used to go to malls and ice-cream parlours with her. Initially, she used to cry when he didn’t hug her but later she adjusted. ‘Ladkiyan bahut samajhdar hoti hai,” he said.

I miss having fun with daughter

Deepak is the father of a three-year-old Shreeshailee. His duty was to collect samples of suspected COVID-19 patients and so he had to self-quarantine for 21 days as per the roster. His duty began in the evening. He said it was very tough time for him because he couldn’t meet his daughter. He said that his daughter is very close to him. She used to mount on his back and horse ride for fun. He used to take her to parks, selfie points and malls. “I miss all this lot,” he said. He said his first responsibility of nurse is towards his patients. He is now working in plasma aphaeresis and meets her only daughter with some precautions.

Still maintains distance

Dinesh is father of two children. Kshitij, 11 and Shruti, 13. He was handling 10 police stations in zone four during the lockdown. So, he had to stay away from his home as well as children for three months. He used to go to home after a gap of 10 to 14 days and talk to them maintaining physical distancing. He preferred video calls to interact with them. He said that he used to play Ludo and have dinner with them. So, he missed that a lot. Now, he lives at home but maintains distance.

Work is worship

Vijay is father of a 14-year-old son and a nine year-old daughter. During lockdown, the most important part of his duty was to look after traffic and social distancing arrangements in five mandis of Bhopal to provide healthy food and vegetables to people. He had to reach mandi at 3 am, he said. He stayed away from his home and children for three months. He use to talk to them through video calls daily and whenever he got time he used to go home to meet them maintaining social distancing. He said that he missed them a lot because they used to go for morning walk and do yoga at home together. But he controlled his feelings as he thinks work is worship, he said.

Told stories to son on phone

Priyesh who works in Central Bank of India, Raisen, is father of a three-and-a-half-year-old son Urmik. He lives in Bhopal and commutes to Raisen for work. During three months of lockdown, he had to live in Raisen and used to come home during weekends. He said his son is so attached to him that he listens to stories from him before going to bed daily. But during the lockdown, he told stories to him on phone. Earlier, he used take his son to park and mall. “I really missed him a lot,” he said.

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