A park dedicated to the memory of Covid warriors who fought valiantly before succumbing to the novel coronavirus was inaugurated on Sunday. Two-hundred big trees have been planted, each with plaques, carrying the names of doctors, nurses, policemen, journalists and newspaper vendors who died in the line of duty over the past year-and-a-half.
Located 6km off EM Bypass at Bamanghata off Basanti Expressway, the green zone was inaugurated by Sreedip Roy, a doctor and a Covid warrior. Nalban-II is a southern extension of Nalban I, next to the Salt Lake Bypass. “The trees have been dedicated to Covid warriors whose significant contribution to the battle against the pandemic ought to be honoured,” said Prabir Karmakar, a clerk at Kolkata Police headquarters Lalbazar. Prabir, along with his wife Suparna Karmakar, convinced the authorities of Nalban-II near Kolkata Leather Complex to earmark 6,000 sq ft as a tribute to the deceased.“We were moved by the proposal. We have never come across a concept of a park in the memory of the deceased. Covid warriors were common people who became extraordinary by dint of their work during the pandemic,” said Samir Chakraborty, in charge of the park section of Nalban-II that is managed by the fisheries cooperative.
Among the trees planted are flower- and fruit-bearing varieties. “Visitors can watch birds as they walk around the trees to remember the brave souls who continued their work despite the threat,” said Suparna.
IMA secretary Shantanu Sen lauded the initiative. “It is a unique idea at a time when doctors and other frontline health workers are facing the ire of patients’ families . The park acknowledges the warriors’ battle against all odds,” he said. Kolkata Police DC (traffic) Arijit Sinha said, “On one hand, it adds to the greenery and on the other, it is a beautiful way to recognise the contribution of the people in the line of duty,” he said.
Bhangar BDO Dipyaman Mazumdar said he was glad the memorial was coming up in his area. “The park will give solace to the bereaved families by keeping their memories alive.” Sumitra Mazumdar, granddaughter of diabetologist Utpal Sengupta who died in the pandemic, said, “ My grandfather treated patients even at the peak of Covid. I felt bitter and wondered if anyone would even recognise his sacrifice. This park has taken away the bitterness.”
Samaresh Biswas, brother of Abhiruk Biswas, a police officer who also died due to Covid, said, “We are yet to overcome the grief of losing my brother who was so full of life. But through this park, I think, he will be remembered forever.”
Source: Times of India