Coronavirus in Mumbai: Flight crew facing the heat of virus scare

Mumbai: Being categorised under ‘essential services’, the flight crew have been working till Tuesday before Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days.

The crew of almost all airlines have been flying to various places in domestic flights to ferry citizens stranded in different states or cities.

Despite working on a risky condition of getting exposed to the deadly coronavirus, many of the crew members are now facing the heat for "doing their jobs.

" In several places, the crew members, who are usually expected to wear "smiles on their faces", are being harassed to the extent that most of them are terrified with the attitude of the society towards them. Most of the housing societies are harassing such crew members and even their families.

They are being forced not to go to their jobs and stay in quarantine as they might spread the deadly virus. "This is going on everywhere. Even my society had called a meeting which was attended by my brother.

They raised an objection to the fact that despite the ongoing outbreak I am still going to work," said Vishala Poojari, who is a crew member at a renowned airline. "But my brother made them aware of what kind of a work I am doing and how we crew members are helping the stranded citizens. She also told them of the highest-level precautions we have been undertaking to avoid any exposure to the virus," Poojari added. According to Poojari, her society then had no objections to her work.

But not all societies have been so good to crew members as there have been instances of societies threatening such professionals and their families. One such incident took place in Thane wherein another crew member – Nisha Singh – faced too much flak due to her profession. "The society members forced Singh to remain in quarantine for at least 14 days.

She tried to make them understand that her work is essential, but the situation escalated to the extent that they complained to the Thane Municipal Corporation," said a close friend of Singh, as she was unavailable for comment. "Acting on the complaint, the TMC issued a notice (copy of which is with FPJ) to Singh ordering her to be in home quarantine," the friend added.

Unfortunately, not all these cases came to light. But one did that was from Kolkata, wherein Amrita, an Indigo Airlines' crew member's family was being harassed by her society members. She posted a video on social media detailing the "torture" meted out to her mother by the local police and the society members just because of her profession.

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