Population Foundation of India in its ongoing Himmat Hai Toh Jeet Hai campaign is celebrating stories of strength and resilience in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign showcases individuals who have stood firm against all kinds of odds to defeat the virus and its subsequent social and economic consequences.
The story of 86-year old Regina Parmar, from Mumbai, is one such example. Her story is more remarkable as Covid-19 has been exceptionally cruel to the elderly, but Regina had faith, found support from committed frontline health workers and overcame the odds with support, fortitude and ‘himmat’.
When her pulse oxygen levels dropped to 93, Regina’s son, Raman Parmar panicked and started preparations to shift his mother to the hospital. Regina herself was not keen to be hospitalised.
As she says, “I was not feeling well and was put on medicines. I never wanted to go to hospital and kept telling my kids – take me home. But my son kept telling me that I would be fine. Take your medicines regularly and stay positive and have strength. This was a difficult time for all of us but my faith, my love for my children and of course the care I received, pulled me through and helped me beat COVID-19. I know now for a fact, “Himmat Hai Toh Jeet Hai!”
The family was shaken and worried – reports in the media emphasised the deadly nature of COVID 19 for the elderly and those with comorbidities. They feared the worst as they admitted their mother to hospital.
Her other son, Edward Parmar said, " When we admitted her, we were in tears, and unsure whether she would ever come back home. But we had to have faith and himmat that she would prevail and our mother will return healthy." And sure enough, after 10-12 days, Regina returned home to her family. The family was thankful for the medical care and doctors and nurses who ensured that their beloved mother was fine.
The Himmat Hai Toh Jeet Hai campaign by Population Foundation of India that was launched in September with a stirring anthem, continues to celebrate stories of courage and hope during the ongoing pandemic. The campaign is guided by renowned film and theatre director Feroz Abbas Khan. Khan is PFI’s Creative Advisor and has directed their flagship trans-media edutainment show Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon. Through this campaign, PFI wants to showcase real stories of fortitude exhibited by people across society from frontline workers to COVID-19 survivors.