While K.K. Shailaja, Minister of health and social welfare in Kerala is fighting the current pandemic back home, her son Sobhith K.K, a UAE resident and an electrical engineer by profession is also contributing in his own way in the UAE. He is in charge of ensuring smooth operations at the Burjeel Medical City which now treats around 200 COVID-19 patients.
Living in Abu Dhabi with his wife Sinju and daughter Niral, his job includes occasional visits to the facility with technicians, wearing PPEs.
“Yes, there is a risk involved. But we need to take the risk for saving others,” he said, just how his mother has been tackling several risks back home.“She was born into a political family. Her great grandmother was a popular social worker at the time of the formation of the communist party in India,” said Sobhith.
Shailaja teacher became involved in politics from her college days and had climbed the ranks, taking responsibilities in various levels of the party’s committees.
“Even when she was teaching, she was busy with social work. Our father [K. Bhaskaran] is also a politician and a former teacher. They had met at party meetings and eventually got married,” said Sobhith, who also has a younger brother Lasith K.K, an electronics engineer with Kannur International Airport in Kerala.
When the children were young, the teacher couple were at the forefront of solving the issues in their locality and would reach home late at night after party meetings and community discussions.
The late night meetings on the terrace of their house when the young boys would serve black tea for the attendees is another vivid memory that Sobhith shared.
“We didn’t get to spend much time with them in those days. Amma (mother) used to go out for meetings alone also. Though our grandmother used to take care of us at that time, Amma also did her best to give her attention to us.”
She does that even now. Even though corona has extended her working hours, she never misses to call her children and husband while she is on her way back home late at night.
“She is like a friend to me. She is bold and handles issues calmly. But if there is a slight change in her voice, I can make out there is something bothering her and vice versa,” said Sobhith.
Clad in cotton saree, the former science teacher offers that motherly affection to everyone around and maintains a warm relationship with most of her students.She is also an avid reader, revealed Sobhith. “Both our parents used to read a lot of books in Malayalam and English. We had a collection of about 3,500 books in our home library years back itself.”
Writing notes on what she reads every day and doing her homework well ahead of her meetings are also traits of Shailaja teacher.
The teacher parents also ensured that their children got a good education in government or aided educational institutions.
“I have never misused her name or position. I have been lucky that I did not even have to burden my parents for my higher education,” said Sobhith.
Now he says he is looking forward to healthcare workers in both India and UAE coming out in flying colours after beating the pandemic.
Story courtesy : Gulf News