What is common among Susmita Das, Soumya Sarathi Ganguly, Sampurna Ghosh, Suddha Chatterjee and Sanket Bandyopadhyay? Well, the initials of their names from what is visible. Not quite. The five youths are tied together by their will to do their bit to fight this pandemic. They are collecting swab samples from Covid suspected patients for a hospital in the city as voluntary service. While four are students of microbiology, one is a student of biotechnology. They are attached to reputable institutes.
“I was looking for an opportunity to help the doctors and other frontline Covid warriors. I am glad that I have been given a place to work as a volunteer microbiologist for sample collection at Peerless Hospital,” said Soumya Sarathi Ganguly, student of integrated MSc PhD in chemical and molecular biology, IIT Kharagpur.
The Microbiology Society of India (MSI) responded to the calls for volunteers after Subhrojyoti Bhwomik, clinical director of Peerless Hospital, appealed during an online talk show with microbiology and biotechnology students of St Xavier’s College Mumbai on May 24. Within hours, Shyam Patil, manager of MSI, assured to arrange for volunteers.
“I wanted to contribute whatever little I can in these times of global crisis. It has been a very engaging experience and a wonderful learning process,” said Susmita Das, student of MSc in microbiology, Lady Brabourne College Kolkata.
All of them had to undergo seven-day training not only on swab collection but also on donning and doffing of PPE. Apart from collecting samples from patients in hospitals, they have also been deployed in mass screening camps.
“These volunteers are highly motivated, positive and energetic. With their classes closed at the moment they could have just sat back at home. But they wanted to do their bit,” said Bhowmik.
Be it Sanket Bandyopadhyay, MSc biotechnology student at Ramaiah College of Arts Science and Commerce, or Sampurna Ghosh and Suddha Chatterjee, both MSc in microbiology at St Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata, none are scared of getting infected. “I am doing my bit for the nation in this grave situation,” said Ghosh.
Source: Times of India