Stories of COVID-19 frontline heroes lift our spirits high in the darkness of uncertainty and despair. These unsung heroes trod the path only very few would even dare attempt—not for accolades and monetary rewards, but for the cause of humanity and community welfare and well-being. EssEmm Corporation salutes and celebrates the extraordinary act of Sheetharam Prasad, Corporate Executive Chef of a leading hotel chain, who dared COVID, and went the extra mile to serve about 2500 frontline workers daily since the deadly outbreak earlier this March. Sheetharam, the chef-hero, ventured out, running from pillar to pillar (as supplies were severely hit due to continual lockdowns) for procuring vegetables and sourcing the raw materials required to cook and feed the frontline workers of the pandemic.
A small property that was arranged by Sheetharam was open to quarantined frontline workers—free of cost and at times with a minimal charge. But things took a turn when our chef-hero was tested positive for COVID-19, though he claimed as mostly asymptotic. Undeterred by his health condition, he ensured his operation continued uninterrupted with the dedicated support of his delivery team who too had apprehension over risking their lives. It came as a sigh of relief for him when his team came out COVID negative. A few days later, he was tested negative.
Sheetharam‘s planned menu was a staple diet of proteins and carbohydrates and 30% of minerals consisting of greens, non-vegetarian, eggs, peas and others. In addition, juice and snacks were served much to the delight of the doctors. The corporation workers and doctors outside were provided with Curd rice, Bisi bele bath and other food items. Food packaging posed another challenge to his team. With no compromise on the quality of food and on-time delivery, Sheetharam and his team were literally hitting around the clock for several days and weeks.
The hotel which housed the front-line workers got certified for COVID-19 standards, and also had four COVID-19 champions appointed to monitor the staff’s temperature and those with them. A COVID desk was created for support. An accommodation just outside the hotel property was formed as a quarantine facility. Social distancing was also observed right from day one, and, as a result, teams were split and made to work in different places for various processes.
When Sheetharam’s team were feeling anxious over the wide spread of Coronavirus, he obtained an e-pass and shouldered the responsibility of distributing food when the city was under complete lockdown. There are many chefs who have taken upon themselves to serve the COVID frontline warriors and those under quarantine, with the noble aim of leaving none go hungry. Sheetharam’s rare display of courage and service will be forever remembered.
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