Indore: 25 days in a car to serve coronavirus patients, Dr Rajesh Lekhi social distancing himself from family

While many government and private doctors are not reporting to duty despite being issued show-cause notices, 57-year-old general physician Dr Rajesh Lekhi has been living in his car for 25 days to help corona warriors and facilitate treatment of patients. The doctor like many others could have utilised the time to stay with his family, but instead, he is living up to the Hippocratic Oath.

“When we become a doctor, we are bound to dedicate our lives to the welfare of the sick according to the best of our abilities and judgement, that’s all I am doing,” Lekhi said. He added that retirement is not an option for a doctor.

“I have been staying in my car since the lockdown and have not met my family for the last 25 days,” Lekhi said. He occasionally goes inside the house, but normally stays in the car.

“My 15-month-old grandaughter (Vanya) is currently living in the house, as her father is stuck in Punjab, so I cannot risk any chance of infection in the house,” Lekhi said. He spends the day driving to Pithampur, Mhow and Rau helping patients and corona warriors.

“As the lockdown was enforced, I started helping patients in Pithampur, Mhow and Rau in reaching Indore for further treatment, especially critical patients with symptoms of COVID-19,” Lekhi said. He provided his ambulance for patients in the areas.

“Secondly, I started providing prevention kits including gloves, masks and PPE (personal protection equipment) to corona warriors including police personnel, municipal workers, paramedical staff and others working as front line officers on outskirts of cities,” Lekhi said.

How his family is handling it?

“Being married to a doctor, I have seen him rushing for emergencies at midnight and working through a variety of communicable and non-communicable diseases for years,” his wife Savita Lekhi said. Despite worrying about her husband’s health, she has been supporting him by delivering meals to his car and motivating him to fulfil his duty.

“I am living with my parents, because my husband and in-laws are stuck in Punjab due to lockdown,” his daughter Nancy Lekhi said. With a 15-month-old daughter, her parents are her biggest support system. “I am proud of my father, and his stories of patients which he shares with us via video calls, convince us that he is doing right by serving people,” Nancy said.

Serving the warriors

Lekhi’s son Mansha and daughter-in-law Shagun Lekhi have taken the charge of running their restaurant, which is preparing food packets for cororna warriors and daily wagers. “At the end of the day, food is a medicine that we all need to survive, but due to lockdown, many corona warriors and daily wagers do not get proper meals, and serving is our basic obligation if we are running a restaurant,” Mansha and Shagun said. The duo coordinates preparation of packages, which are given out to people on the field.

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