New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Commitment to work at the time of adversity brought out the best in this IAS officer serving as Collector of Valsad in Gujarat. Even as coronavirus spread in no time in various districts of the state, the officer received the tragic news of the death of his mother in a village of Banaskantha, about 500 km from Valsad. The officer left for her last rites and returned the same day. “I had to save my district, I had to return immediately…notwithstanding my personal tragedy,” said C.R. Kharsan.

The 2006 batch IAS officer told IANS on phone that even a day’s laxity in the ongoing efforts to contain the pandemic would have led to even more tragic consequences.

His mother had left for her Raia village in Banaskantha before the nationwide lockdown was declared. The IAS officer received the information about his mother’s death around 3 am on April 15. “I left almost immediately for the village,” Kharsan said.

After an eight-hour road journey, the Collector reached the village and soon after attending the last rites of his mother, he started back for Valsad, the same day on April 15.

The next day he had to lead Valsad’s grim battle against coronavirus.

His commitment to work surprised his colleagues, boosting their morale. State Additional Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar later tweeted that he was proud of the officer.

“I had decided that I would come back immediately after attending the last rites. I had messaged all my relatives that since lockdown was in force, they should avoid visiting the village, and if they do come, they should return immediately,” Kharsan told IANS.

“Since Valsad is hardly 170 km from Mumbai which has recorded many corona patients, we have to be extra careful. I thought if there was any laxity even for a day in terms of restricting the movement of people, all our measures such as sealing the border would come to naught. So, we need strong monitoring,” Kharsan said.

“I feel a sense of satisfaction that my district has so far been able to stay largely safe. I don’t want to see even a single corona positive case in Valsad,” he said.

–IANS

Hindi/prs

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