IAS officer’s book highlights Covid’s grim yet uplifting reality

The ‘Battle Against Covid – Diary of a Bureaucrat’, a book written by an IAS officer, recounts the horror of the Covid-19 pandemic which has shaken the country, and at the same time highlights the uplifting reality which saw people going out of their way to help those in distress.

Penned by Tarun Pithode and published by Bloomsbury Publishing, the book also gives an insight into his experiences of containing the pandemic as Collector of Bhopal.

As the pandemic scarred the country, the plight of migrant labourers carrying loads on their heads and walking towards their native places with huge blisters on their feet was heart-wrenching.

The period also saw family members hesitating to perform the last rites of their loved ones fearing that they will contract the infection.

During the first wave of Covid-19, Pithode was Collector of Bhopal. At that time the Madhya Pradesh capital had emerged as a Covid hotspot in the state and Pithode had worked day and night to contain the virus.

To highlight the bureaucrats’ role and management of the pandemic, Pithode has incorporated the experiences of bureaucrats in MP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Talking about the reason for penning the book, Pithode said besides making people aware of the steps the administration took during the pandemic, it also aims to highlight the problems faced by the common man.

Actually, the book is all about how the administration and the common people battled Covid-19.

This 224-page book will serve as a reference for the new administrative officers on how to face and contain a pandemic, he said.

During the first and the second wave of the contagion, there were many instances when people had no idea what to do and administrative officers came to their rescue.

There was an instance when a man was not ready to cremate his mother, then I decided to perform the final rites of the woman. However, a tehsildar stopped me and performed the cremation. Other rituals were also performed by the tehsildar. There are several instances when relatives were hesitant to carry out the last rites of their family members and the administration helped them, Pithode said.

The book also encapsulates tales about the difficulties faced by migrant labourers, doctors, police officers and the public who risked their life and fought the virus.

According to Pithode, it is a priceless record of the battle against Covid.


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