By Sajeev K Peter
KUWAIT: Five Indian nurses working in Kuwait hospitals were honored with ‘Nursing Excellence Awards’ for their exceptional contribution as medical professionals during the critical period of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The awards, instituted by Asianet News, a leading Indian television channel, were in recognition of the dedication, initiative and excellence of the nurses as the frontline warriors during the harrowing time.
Susan Jacob Abraham won the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for her remarkable service in Sabah Hospital for more than 43 years and Shiny Anil Jacob bagged the Nurse of the Year Award for her selfless service, particularly in helping embalm hundreds of dead bodies in mortuaries while Suja Laji Joseph took away ‘Nursing Administrator Award’ for her unique service as a nursing supervisor.
Vijesh Velayudhan, who works with the Sabah Hospital, was honored with COVID Warrior Award for his relentless service in helping hundreds of COVID patients during the crisis period and Roy K Yohannan was bestowed with Special Jury Award for his yeoman’s services during the peak days of the pandemic.
Indian Ambassador Sibi George gave away the awards to the winners in the presence of the three-member jury, Reem Al-Marzouq (Legal dept, Ministry of Health), Kuwaiti dignitaries, Asianet officials, a large number of Indian nurses and guests, at an impressive ceremony held at the Millennium Hotel and Convention Center, on Saturday. The five awardees were selected by a four-member jury headed by Dr Mohan Thomas (Qatar) and Dr Roy K George (India), Dr Amir Ahamed (Kuwait), and Brijit Vincent (USA).
“I am sure that today’s Asianet Nursing Excellence Award ceremony will go a long way in further building India’s vibrant bilateral relations with Kuwait, particularly our people-to-people connect initiative,” the ambassador said in his inaugural address. He said the last two years had been a very difficult period for everyone. “When we look back today, the role played by Indian medical professionals in Kuwait, doctors and nurses and other medical staff always, stand out,” he said.
“Despite all the odds stacked against them, despite all the pain and suffering from working long hours, spending sleepless nights, witnessing unpleasant scenes of death and pain every day; our nurses continued to save our lives. They are truly an embodiment of the indomitable human spirit. They have displayed true courage, fortitude and resilience. They made every Indian here proud,” he said.
“We always call them our angels. They are indeed our angels. But they are much more. They are our warriors, warrior angels. I salute them, I thank them. I congratulate each one of them who are receiving the awards today. With them, it is the entire nursing community in Kuwait and everywhere in the world, who are getting honored here today,” the ambassador said.
A one-minute candle light vigil was observed in remembrance of the 14 nurses who lost their lives in the fight against the COVID pandemic in Kuwait.
“It was a herculean task for the jury to come down to the finalists out of 5,000-plus nominations and pick the winners eventually. No doubt, it was a rigorous screening and evaluation process,” said Anil Adoor (Asianet News), who arrived from India to oversee the award ceremony. Asianet officials Frank P Thomas (India), Surejkumar Sreedharan (Dubai), Arunkumar Raghavan (Dubai) and Nixon George (Kuwait) also attended the award ceremony. Indian actress and television star Jewel Mary anchored the show.