Lucknow: Ramakrishna, a corona warrior, who was lauded by Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for leaving his home in Telangana to help in corona testing in Lucknow, has now admitted that he even lied to his parents to return to Lucknow.
The Ph.D scholar in the microbiology department of Lucknow’s King George Medical University (KGMU) said he was helping his parents in agricultural operations in their fields in their village in Khammam district when he received a call from Doctor Amita Jain, who is the head of the department of microbiology. She said that he was needed in testing samples for the infection that was spreading rapidly.
Ramakrishna said he immediately packed his bags and even lied to his parents, who were worried about their son travelling during the corona crisis.
“I initially told my parents I will be staying with my friends from the village who are studying in Hyderabad. Now, of course, they know I am working in Lucknow in this fight against coronavirus and they are fine with it,” he said.
Ramakrishna said he reached Hyderabad on March 22, the day of the Janata Curfew when all routes were blocked. Before daybreak, in the early hours of March 23, he headed to the airport.
Ramakrishna said he was stopped by the police, but when he explained the reason for travel, they helped him get there. He caught a flight to Lucknow and ever since he has been working tirelessly to test more and more samples each day.
The Ph.D scholar had completed his project six months ago and had returned to his village. He was working on his thesis and also helping his parents in farming.
Jain, head of the department of microbiology, KGMU, said she had called four of her students for help. Two were in Lucknow and joined immediately, while Ramakrishna and one more person were away and returned to help.
Jain said, “I told him that we need him if he can help. He asked for an hour to convince his parents and within an hour, he said he is coming. These research scholars helping out in testing is a commitment that can be compared to soldiers reporting to their battalions in times of war. This time, these soldiers are wearing masks.”
Ramakrishna, who hit the limelight when Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted about him, insisted he was just doing his duty like all the others in the medical fraternity to fight this pandemic.
The virology laboratory at the KGMU has been testing suspected samples for COVID-19 under the leadership of Jain since February.
On Priyanka’s appreciation, he said “I do not know who told her (Priyanka), but I am humbled at the appreciation,” he said.