Leading by example, Mizoram’s power and electricity department minister R Lalzirliana was on Friday seen mopping the floors of a hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for COVID-19 along with his wife and son. The ministers action was not to embarrass medical staff or authorities but to set an example for others.
He said sweeping and mopping the floors are not new to him as he used to do such chores at his homes and other places. For a state which denounces VIP culture, Mizoram had witnessed several instances of ministers living as common men by performing household chores, traveling in public transport or motor bike, participating at community works and serving as a cook for community feast during festive season like Christmas and New year in the past.
“My motive in mopping the floors was not to embarrass the nurses or doctors but I want to educate and lead others by setting an example,” Lalzirliana told PTI. He said that he called the sweeper as their room was messy.
But, the sweeper could not come and respond to his call, which prompted him to do the job himself, he said. “Sweeping, mopping the floors or performing household chores are no new jobs to me. I used to do at home and other places when it is required to do so,” the minister said, adding that he did not keep himself above others for being a minister.
The minister had once cleaned and mopped the floor at Mizoram house in Delhi during his visit to the national capital in the past. The 71 year-old veteran politician and Mizo National Front (MNF) leader and his wife Lalthangmawii (59) were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection on May 11.
His son was also found infected with Covid-19 on May 8. The three of them were initially placed under home isolation.
They were shifted to the states lone dedicated COVID-19 hospital- Zoram Medical College (ZMC) on May 12 when Lalzirliana showed a sudden drop in oxygen level. The minister said that he started to develop mild symptoms since Thursday but he is out of danger and his oxygen level is stable now.
He said that they were kept at mini-intensive care unit for two days and were shifted to COVID ward on Friday. “We are fine here. The medical staff and nurses are taking good care of us,” he said, adding he did not like a special or VIP treatment as a minister.
However, the minister urged medical staff and nurses to show politeness to coronavirus patients as their good care can have a good impact upon the patients. Apart from being the power and electricity minister, Lalzirliana also holds arts and culture, land resources, soil and water conservation, and district council and minority affairs portfolios in the present Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga.