Delhi cops promise toys to kids as they go out to fight 'corona keeda'

Saloni Bhatia and Anjali Pillay

New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) From telling their kids that they are going out to fight 'corona keeda' to promising to bring them toys after the lockdown ends, Delhi Police personnel who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 are doing everything they can to comfort their children.

While healthcare workers are fighting the battle against coronavirus inside hospitals, police personnel are manning the roads to enforce the lockdown.

The police officers are trying to be the best at other roles be it of a parent or a spouse.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Parminder Singh said he stays away from the things that belong to his son over fears that if he is infected, he'll be putting his kid at risk.

'How can life be when you are surrounded by coronavirus? You can't access some places at home and you cannot touch certain things despite washing your hands many times. Every day when you wear the uniform, you have a fear that you might get infected today,' he told PTI over phone.

Singh also has elderly parents at home and has to follow strict social distancing norms.

His wife is also a police officer but she is currently on maternity leave.

'She is taking care of the baby. Sometimes she wishes she could be there on the field during this time,' the additional DCP said.

DCP(North) Monika Bhardwaj who is in the same boat as Singh said her twins get upset every day when she dresses up to leave for work.

'Every day, I tell them that ‘mom corona naam ke keede ko maarne ja rahi hai' (mom is going out to fight coronavirus). They plead with me not to leave the house,' she said.

'Before entering home, I ensure that they do not see me. I either enter from the backside or ask my husband to keep them engaged in TV or make them watch cartoons on mobile. I go meet them only after sanitizing myself,' she said.

DCP (Northwest) Vijayanta Arya's said her two sons keep coming to her with demands to buy new toys every second day.

'When they ask me why all shops are closed, I tell them there is this coronavirus which has come in our country so shops are closed and then promise to get them toys post lockdown,' she said.

'Then they come up with questions like if everything is closed and everyone is at home, why do you and papa still go out?” I tell them that the police have to be out there to make sure others stay indoors,' she said.

'Kids don't understand much except for the fact that they are supposed to maintain a distance from us whenever we get back from work,' Vijayanta Arya added.

Her husband and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya was on home quarantine for 14 days after one of his colleagues tested positive for coronavirus.

“Now, he too has resumed work,” she said.

She said even when Devender was home for 14 days, he was living in a separate room.

'Kids were happy and sad at the same time as even though their father was at home, they could not meet him or sleep with him. So, I used this countdown trick with them. Every day before going to sleep, they would say nine more days to go and after that we would get to sleep with papa,' she added.

For Varsha Sharma, who is DCP(EOW), things are a little easier as her children are grown up. Her daughter is 20 years old while the son is 17.

'I am part of a committee which is checking containment zones in northern range. I prefer to stay in my balcony for one hour before meeting them,' she said.

Sharma said she washes her clothes and takes a bath after coming home from work.

DCP(Central) Sanjay Bhatia said his children, who are aged 18 and 19, long for burgers and pizzas.

'My son was studying in the US and we called him back after the coronavirus outbreak. My daughter is finished with her board exams,' he said. PTI SLB/AMP SNE SNE SNE