Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned emotional while addressing the nation on Saturday. Recalling the sacrifices of healthcare workers, and people's sufferings during the pandemic, he said frontline workers had to stay away from their families for long hours, and sometimes days but they never complained.
PM Modi in his address before the nationwide launch of the Covid-19 vaccination drive recalled the pain, sufferings of the people as India was engulfed in the pandemic. He noted that the nation lost hundreds of healthcare workers during the pandemic journey and of those who died could not be given the traditional last rites.
A family often comes together to nurse its sick member. But coronavirus isolated its victims who suffered in loneliness as their kin could not tend to them due to fear of infection, PM further added.
"Many sick small children had to live away from their mothers who were in distress and wept but could not do anything. The elderly were compelled to fight the infection at hospitals in loneliness. Their children could not go near them.
"Many people who passed away could not be given traditional last rites that they deserved," said a visibly emotional Modi.
Thinking of those times gives goosebumps and one becomes sad, he said.
Hailing the healthcare and other frontline workers, the prime minister said they infused hope in that time of crisis and hopelessness.
"Giving priority to their duties they kept away from families, many for days on end and hundreds of them never came back," the prime minister said in a solemn voice, referring to the deaths of large number of people involved in fighting the disease.
"They sacrificed their lives to save lives," he said.
The decision to administer the first dose of vaccines to healthcare workers is a way for the society to pay off its debt and a grateful nation paying tributes to them, Modi said.
The prime minister on Saturday launched India's Covid-19 vaccination drive and asserted that the made-in-India vaccines being rolled out will ensure a "decisive victory" for the country over the coronavirus pandemic.