Have to be available 24/7, can’t say no: DSP Joginder Sharma

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    New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Joginder Sharma, who was one of the heroes of Indias 2007 World T20 win, is currently serving the country in another capacity amid the ongoing fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

    Now a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Hisar district of Haryana, Joginder is making sure people stay indoors and adhere to the guidelines of the government during the ongoing 21-day lockdown in place amid coronavirus outbreak which has claimed around 200 lives thus far in the country.
    And for discharging his duties, he has to be available 24/7.
    “My day starts around six in the morning. Today I started at 9am and am returning home now (8pm). But I need to be ready for emergency calls, so effectively I am available for duty 24 hours, and I can’t say no,” Joginder told ESPNcricinfo on Friday divulging details of his routine in the contemporary times.
    “The area that I need to oversee is mostly in the rural belt of Hisar. Right now, it involves guarding various check-posts and instructing not just truck and bus drivers but also common people about the virus. The basic message is: do not get out of the house unless you need to. If someone is outside without any purpose, we can sanction them under various legal acts.”
    While it has been advised to people to stay indoors and practise social distancing, Joginder says police have to allow people to buy essentials. “Of course, if people are out to fetch essential home supplies like groceries or there is a medical emergency, we allow that as long as they are maintaining social distancing, wearing protective gear like masks and respecting the guidelines set by the government.”
    Speaking about the challenges he faces while performing his duties as a cop, he recalled the time when he had to explain a group of migrants that no vehicles were available due to the lockdown.
    “Personally, one time I got scared was when some groups of migrants were desperate to get back home to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, even though no modes of transport were working, due to the national lockdown. Me and my team had to stop them and explain the situation to them. Eventually they were moved to makeshift shelter homes. Although we were using megaphones, some interactions had to be on a one-on-one basis. It was tough,” he said.
    As he comes in contact with many people, Joginder in order to avoid any risk, doesn’t go to his home after his duty hours end.
    “Although I live in Rohtak, which is just 110km from Hisar, about one and a half hours by road, I have decided not to go home.
    “I don’t want to take a chance because I am in contact with people all day and I don’t want go home and put my family at risk,” he said.
    The former medium pacer had a short international career of four ODIs and four T20Is but was immortalised when he took the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq, who looked set to win the match for Pakistan, and won India the inaugural World T20 title. He played 77 matches in his first-class career picking up 297 wickets.

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