COVID-19 impact: Satara village abuses and evicts Mumbai cop's family
Sarpanch and neighbours abuse and stigmatise city constable's wife and children aged 3 and 5, forcing him to bring them back
The fear of COVID-19 has led to families of policemen being made to feel unwelcome in their villages. In a recent incident, a city constable's wife and two kids were thrown out of their village in Satara. Mumbai police personnel, who have to be out on the field all day, have been wanting to send their families to the villages to protect them from the virus.
Constable Pravin Waghmare, attached to Meghwadi police station, resides with his wife Snehal and two kids Viren, 3, and Shrawni, 5, at Marol police camp. Waghmare's duty involves visiting civic hospitals every day, collecting the bodies of COVID-19 patients and ensuring they are disposed of in a safe manner.
"After getting examined by our family doctor, we reached our village, Vilaspur in Satara on May 20. I have a flat there in Herambhu Pushpa building. We went straight to our flat but the society members objected to our coming there and informed the sarpanch. The building's residents told us to get a check-up in the local government hospital, which we did on the same day," Waghmare said.
Waghmare left for Mumbai the same day. The next day, his wife told him that villagers are abusing them through the windows. "The sarpanch also arrived at our residence and told my family that they can't stay there as they are the family of a Mumbai policeman. They are treating my family as if they are infected with COVID-19," Waghmare said.
Waghmare had to return to his village on May 23 and bring his family back. "Villagers told us that since many Mumbai policemen are infected, they don't want the risk of their families coming to the village. I assured them that my family will home-quarantine themselves for 14 days. But the villagers were adamant," Waghmare said.
"On May 24, I again visited Nair and KEM hospitals to collect COVID-19 bodies for their final rites. I reached home at 11 pm and did not meet my family. I don't think it is safe to meet them after disposing of two bodies. I want to save my family from the virus but my own village has refused to help us. I'd rather manage alone than endanger them. My duty comes first, but my family too, is an important part of my life," Waghmare said.
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