The Covid-19 pandemic has been quite an equaliser. It has levelled the economic and social playing field, "leaving us all to be who we truly are - human beings facing an increasingly uncertain future," said a UAE frontliner who recently authored a book.
Thahira Kallumurikkal wrote 'This Too Shall Pass', a powerful account of the challenges faced and overcome by social workers and organisations that helped expats in need during the height of the pandemic.
Kallumurikkal, an audiologist at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company's (Seha) Oud Al Touba Diagnostic & Screening Center in Al Ain, has played a pivotal role in extending support and spreading awareness among her community, which, at the time, was reeling under uncertainty and fear induced by the pandemic.
Born in Palakkad district in Kerala, India, and having secured a degree in Audiology and Speech Therapy from India, she went on to secure a postgraduate degree in Clinical Audiology from Salus University in Pennsylvania, US. She has had a prolific career, during which she worked at leading hospitals, including Al Nahda Hospital in Oman, and now as a clinical audiologist and team lead of Asian Community Care Coordination at Seha's Ambulatory Healthcare Services in Al Ain.
Having served as a crucial mediator between the UAE Government and several NGOs, such as ISC (Indian Social Centre) and NORKA Helpdesk, during the peak of the pandemic, she has been the recipient of several awards and certificates in recognition of her selfless commitment towards the greater good.
Kallumurikkal was recently invited to meet with the Chief Minister of Kerala for her support of the Indian community during the pandemic.
Reassuring the community that the UAE Government and NGOs are available to lend their support, even in the gravest of situations, she said: “As a frontline worker, I had the privilege of witnessing the incredible force of collaboration between functions and departments, from doctors to the police force, everyone came together to overcome the many challenges we faced at the time.”
It was this profound experience that formed the basis of Kallumurikkal's book, the proceeds of which will be donated to the families of expats who lost their life to Covid-19.
“Several expats flew to UAE to support their families here. During such times, it is imperative to remind ourselves that we are all human beings,” said Kallumurikkal.
“Social organisations and workers went over and beyond to provide some level of certainty when all else seemed uncertain. Having experienced all that I have in the past few years, I felt that these stories needed to be heard, that the plight of these people, the tireless efforts of such organizations and the ready support of our government needed to be highlighted.”
“My book is an account of it all, and one that I hope inspires people to look beyond themselves and help those who need it,” she added.
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