Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Wednesday made a fervent appeal to doctors and nurses, who might have "retired" but continue to be fit for work, to come forward in this hour of crisis and help the government fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Prasad, who is in his 70s and for long lodged at a hospital in Ranchi due to multiple ailments upon conviction in fodder scam cases made the appeal through his official Twitter handle, operated by people said to be having his eyes and ears.
"The country needs you!! I humbly appeal to healthy, retired doctors and nurses to come and join the government in fighting this pandemic," said Prasad in the first part of his tweet.
He followed it up with another appeal to the government "if you call them, they will come. Utilize their wealth of knowledge and expertise in these testing times" and tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, both of them political foes.
According to various estimates, India has one of the lowest population-to-doctor ratios in the world which has been a cause of anxiety among those working in the health sector since the outbreak of COVID 19.
In an earlier tweet, in Hindi, Prasad had backed to the hilt the restrictions that have been put in place as part of the nationwide three-week lockdown.
"Not stepping out of home shall be our first step in the direction of waging a war against coronavirus, unless we need to do so on account of an emergency," he said.
Prasads wife Rabri Devi, who had succeeded him as the chief minister of Bihar and went on to enjoy a tenure that outlasted that of the husband, made a similar plea on Twitter.
In a tweet, in chaste Hindi, Rabri Devi leader of the opposition in the state legislative council - also said that she would contribute a months salary to the Chief Ministers Relief Fund.
One months salaries have also been pledged by all BJP members of the bicameral legislature, the partys veteran leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar announced, following an "audio conference" with the legislators.
He said all MLAs and MLCs have been directed to remain in touch with the residents of their constituencies and ensure that none suffered shortage of essential items such as food and medicines.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)